Staff Editorial – 11/14

‘The Like Generation’ depends on gaining popularity through social media posts


We often hear “Do it for the Vine,” a phrase powerful enough to resist any questioning or doubt. Pouring ice water on yourself for the #IceBucketChallenge? Do it for the Vine. Eating a tablespoon of cinnamon for the #CinnamonChallenge? Do it for the Vine. If it’s “for the Vine,” or for any avenue of boosting social popularity, it’s automatically justified.

This concept actually transcends all social media, from Twitter to Instagram, where more and more people are going to extreme lengths to gain favorites and likes. Whether your tweets regularly pop up as the ‘recommended’ tweet of the day or if you’re still figuring out how hashtags work, there is no denying the fact that we are currently subjects of The Like Generation.

This is a generation overwhelmed with selfies and candids, filter choices and following sprees. Those who have mastered the economy of likes are heralded with the ultimate prize: recognition. Now the type of recognition depends on individual goals, ranging from the blue verified check mark on Twitter or scoring over 100 likes on an Instagram post.

But as we casually hit the ‘Post’ button–pretending like we didn’t wait all day for the right timing of optimal likes, pretending like we didn’t spend twenty minutes discussing the right caption with our friends–we have to ask ourselves: Is any of it worth it?

Perhaps we are too busy recording our lives rather than living them. Perhaps social media does have too tight of a grip on our behavior. We certainly don’t gain any monetary or tangible benefits from these cyberspace transactions. But despite knowing all this, maybe that shallow validation and intense gratification coming from a single thumbs up–as insignificant as they appear–are the modern necessities to sustain life.

The Like Generation is upon us. We like it.