The Science behind The Obsession With Likes On Social Media

When it first started, social media was supposed to simply be a connecting tool for classmates, batch mates and like-minded people. While it still continues to do so, several layers have been added to the process. These layers, meant to add more options and value addition to the simple, boring way to connect with people have made it more complex and yet, at the same time more obsessive. People on social media have become obsessed with the number of likes, comments, mentions and retweets that they get on their posts.

The obsession

When you post a picture or a post on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, there is definitely a small rush when you receive likes on that. People these days are vying for that rush every minute of every day. Right from the moment they wake up, all some people can think of is more likes and sometimes, they would go crazy, stupid and even dangerous things to get there. People try and buy Instagram likes cheap so as to increase their follower count. Especially after a lot of companies have started paying for a higher number of likes on sponsored posts, the need to be a social celebrity has increased manifold.

The science behind the obsession

As mentioned, there is a small rush you get when you receive these likes. This rush is because of the hormone Dopamine which gets released in your brain and instils excitement and happiness. As the number of likes increases, the dopamine levels will also increase. Eventually, people get used to or want to get used to this rush, and that is where the obsession starts. Although a large number of people might be able to control it, there are still a set of people from the celebrities to teenagers who are vying for this rush.

Why this rush might be good?

The first reason behind social media was to connect. If these likes are meant to tell the world about yourself and your business, it might actually help in that aspect. Further, people who are introverts get a chance to express themselves and showcase their work to the world. Businesses will get a chance to showcase their products to their target audience and generate more business out of it. If it does, increasing number of likes might help people get out of their shell and interact more with the world.

Why this is not so good after all?

Like anything else, there are cons to the whole situation. The dopamine rush is limited to those who actually get these likes and comments. For those, who are unable to get the same, it might actually turn bad. People who are more sensitive may be affected in the wrong way and may even get depressed. Lately, there have been quite a few cases of depression because of social media likes. And because people tend to work extra hard in getting this, it does affect them mentally and impacts how they see the outside world.