“What if we got rid of likes?”

That is the title of this provocative essay by PJ Vogt. Even WordPress, the sponsor of this blog, has a like button (see below). But “likes” are lame, right? So, why don’t we get rid of them? Here’s why, according to Mr Vogt:

There’s a million reasons why no social media platform wants to get rid of whatever version of Like it has. At its most basic, getting a Like gives you a tiny dopamine hit. It makes you want to post again. And as you notice which of your posts get more Likes, you start to write more posts like those. Which means you’re focus-grouping your dog pictures to make them grabbier. So that your friends enjoy it more. So that they stay on the site longer. So they, in turn, create more posts. And on and on.  As a human though, this is kind of crappy. It’s not all that fun to have your most mundane public communications get network notes from your friends. Or rather, it’s fun in the moment, and wearying in the long run. Part of me yearns for a place where I can publicly talk to the people I know without being graded.

prior probability agrees with Mr Vogt on both counts: we love the feeling when someone “likes” what we have to say, but at the same time, it does feel like we are being graded. But what’s wrong with that?

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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2 Responses to “What if we got rid of likes?”

  1. shelbynfla says:

    What’s so wrong with dopamine?

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