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We Like “Likes”

I saw an interview with the guy who, as a software programmer at Facebook, co-created the “like” button.  While stopping short of expressing regret, Justin Rosenstein says the invention has had “unintended, negative consequences.” I couldn’t agree more. We like “likes.” The little red notifications heighten our self-worth. They tell us someone’s listening. They tell us we matter. Studies suggest social media notifications activate the pleasure centers of the brain, much like sex and food. Depending on how healthy you are as a person, it’s easy to become addicts of approval. But what happens when you don’t get the affirmation you seek? What happens if you’re (gulp) virtually ignored? Be careful. Remember Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be a redneck” routine? …