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With great power comes great responsibility. So please like responsibly in 2014. It is your social obligation.

The core purpose behind advertisement is to allow us an avenue to inclusion. I learned as a kid that by purchasing a certain brand I could get instant admittance to a circle of friends that spans the globe. Once upon a time, addiction to Coke (the drinking kind), Frosted Flakes (They are Grrrrreat after all), and Pizza Hut (Making it so you don’t even have to leave the house to get access to massive calorie-storage devices) came with instant perks. All of a sudden, I was one of “them.” And even though I had no real clue who “they” were, I was quite certain they liked me. I mean, we ate the same stuff. Does anything bring people together more than consumption of mass quantities of food? I think not. We were going to achieve true cellulite together; it was destined to be magical.

Fast-forward a spell and now we live in the age of not just media consumption, but social media consumption. Translation: I can still get people to like me, but now it’s free. Within our grasp are daily opportunities for people all around the world to embrace us with their magical fingers of acceptance.  Inclusion is only a like button away. No longer limited by living in places like Idaho, people all around the world can now rally around the things that matters to us most; acceptance, with a dash of attention thrown in for good measure.

So with that unnecessarily long introduction in mind, here are a few tips for expanding your social influence. Just a few ways to achieve true social cellulite:

Try not to allow your post-count to exceed 37 times a day. Most of us aren’t typically looking for a workout when engaging in social media. In fact, oftentimes we’re trying to avoid work. Excessive liking could equal a thumb-workout, which limits your like-count. Also, over-liking could come across as rather stalkerish. And nothing about keeping track of people’s schedules, locations, relationships, latest hairdos, and people they hang out with should feel awkward.

Get married and/or engaged. Nothing spikes the like count like significant life events. If you get married too frequently, people may start picking up on your social strategy. But in the meantime there might be some FB gifts in it for you. Physical perks in a digital world? Take it and run.

Change your relationship status. You’d think this would be covered in the previous category, but not always. Randomly changing your status to single, even if you’ve been single for a while, allows you to cash in on some instant sympathy likes and comments. Might even get you a winky face or a “txt me!!” out of the deal. And winky face usually means a date, or at least an instant message flirtation – which is pretty much the same thing these days.

Keep it short. If we have to hit the read more button, we’re probably not going to do it. We’re an instant access society. (Translation: we’re lazy) As previously stated, we don’t go on social media for a workout.

Hook us in the first line. We have short attention spans. Nuf said.

Avoid gratuitous use of hashtags. Hashtags had a good run, culminating with their heyday in 2012. But over-use of hashtags just gets confusing. Plus, how can something simultaneously be #awesome, #superawesome, and #superduperawesome? Some are so random to arouse curiosity, but they also take valuable time away from watching YouTube videos of cats. And ain’t nobody got time for that.

Travel the world, or invest in greenscreen technology. We’re a visual culture, and we’re becoming less impressed with photos of people in their living room, bedroom, and car. (We don’t really seem to care that people should be driving instead of taking selfie’s. It’s just getting socially mundane.) So you could spice up your feed by traveling, which is an expensive but effective way to collect social media collateral, or you can just cheat. Sure people will be confused when they see you in Starbucks after you’ve just posted a photo in Dubai. But the social approval of your peers will make it worth the socially awkward sacrifice of the moment.

Poke the bear from time to time. Arguments can be social gold. Granted, this will turn a lot of people off to your stream of conversation. But we are designed for drama, and some social media peeps clearly thrive on confrontation. So picking a good fight will be the social media gift that keeps on giving. The more people you offend/confront the longer the thread will thrive.

Be a high school girl. This is either the easiest or most difficult one depending on your age, gender, etc. But if you are a high school girl, then there’s really no reason to read the rest. Just go post cutesy photos, or some cliché judgmental statement about how judgmental others are, and watch your like count soar. Don’t worry. Whatever it is people will like it. Girls will like it cause they’re socially wired for acceptance, and guys will like it cause…well, they’re guys.

So go out there and get your social media on. It’s a new year with new opportunities to be liked. And remember to use your magical thumbs of acceptance responsibly.

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