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May 3, 2018

Liking Ourselves to Death

“Facebook ‘likes’ are bright dings of pseudo-pleasure, and they’re as seductive as they are hollow.”
(Justin Rosenstein, the creator of the “Like” button for Facebook)


The past two days we’ve been looking at the power of the Internet and social media to ensnare our brains and polarize us against one another. Truth be told, this is all coming from a book I’m writing. It’s called “The 7 Deadly Sins of the 21st Century,” and its an effort to name all the modern ways we’re killing ourselves to be happy. It’s also an effort to point a way out of the wilderness, toward practices that leave us feeling calm, confident, and capable.


Here’s one of those practices: Just for today, keep a count of how many real “likes” you receive today, from real people, face-to-face. How many compliments did you get? Pats on the back? Laughter at your jokes, agreeing statements, or even just friendly smiles? Count them all.


How did these real connections feel compared to how your virtual validations typically feel? Which feeling lasts longer? Which can you actually remember?


Now, here’s another challenge: Can you give out more of these real affirmations tomorrow than you received today? Can you give out more of these real ones than pseudo-pleasure likes to your virtual friends?


Peace begins with pause,


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