I just typed in ‘how many likes does it take to be satisfied’ into Google and got the responses below (second picture) – although just as interesting are the auto-complete options which cropped up.
I guess we live in a virtual world where many more people are asking themselves how to get more likes, without asking themselves whether this will make them satisfied or not?
I KNOW there are plenty more ways you can phrase the question, and of course the above responses may be difference because of my own search history (although whey the Ask Men link came up is beyond me), but intuitively this seems to be an obvious limit to reflexivity in an an online age – asking how to get more likes is more common than reflecting on whether this is a worthy goal in the first place.
For some reasons I’m reminded of Habermas’ theory of communicative action – and those three basic types of question we can ask of each other (and ourselves) – (1) Is something effective, (2) is something true (i.e. what does it actually mean) and (3) is something good. When it comes to the economy of likes, I guess most people are stuck in that pragmatic domain. When it comes to likes – how many people stop to reflect on what a ‘like’ actually means, and whether seeking more of them is a worthwhile act in itself, and how (more?) many people have just unconsciously based part of their self-esteem on gathering likes and limit themselves to the pragmatic question of how to get more of them?
Now there’s a research agenda to stick in your pipe and smoke!
And of course I do appreciate the irony of the media here.