High on Social Media: When Somebody Doesn’t Like Your Post

We all love Facebook, right?! Except for when we don’t. One minute it’s all smiles and laughs and nodding in agreement to somebody’s post. The next it’s feeling bad about yourself, getting angry at a friend’s comment and just feeling icky, either about yourself or somebody else. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. Even the most seasoned FB’er and toughest mama out there can leave the site feeling off. But why? We KNOW it’s just social media. That those pics we see are only showing the good times, and even sometimes the fake times. That when we put ourselves out there we are subject to scrutiny. That our so-called “friends” aren’t ALL our ride-or-die pals, so why are we offended when they don’t comment or “like” something? Part of it is because we’re used to getting high on social media. Really, really high.

It’s no surprise that social media, especially Facebook, is addicting, even when it hurts to be on there. But what you may not realize is you are programming your brain to become dependent on that peer approval — i.e. “likes,” comments, thumbs and smileys. For each Facebook reaction received, dopamine is released into your brain, the same chemical released when you experience something positive or when you induce it through activities like drug use. Think about all of the times you’ve posted something and had hundreds of your FB friends “like” it. You’re giddy, right? Full of pride and totally self-righteous. I say this from experience. But here’s the thing — like a drug, eventually the “likes” aren’t enough. You crave more, particularly in the form of COMMENTS, and you want them all. Again, speaking from experience here. In fact, I’m high just thinking about it all! Facebook dopamine… drip, drip, drip. But like any drug, eventually the high wears off, and you come crashing down back into reality. Usually this happens when you notice somebody didn’t “like” or “wow-face” or “laugh-face” or “heart” or comment on your post. This feeling is the exact opposite of the dopamine high. It’s a shock to your system, and it can leave you feeling down.

So what do we do about it? Well, first of all, we remember that our self-worth does not come from any social-media site. Like, not even a little bit. Secondly, acknowledge what you are about to do to your brain before you post. That post is a social-media sugar cookie. Is it worth eating, knowing you’re going to want more and more? Then we think about what goes into a comment or like and why somebody might not be responding to our posts. Wondering why your friends may be giving you the social-media cold shoulder? Here are a few ideas:

1. Your friends didn’t see it. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody is on Facebook all of the time. Sure, some have their days where the second they click out of FB they click right back in, but other days are jam packed with mom-ing and working and wife-ing, etc., so if they do get on, they could have easily missed your hilarious, politically based, photo-overloaded post. It’s not personal, it’s life.

2. Your friends have liked so many of your posts in the past it feels fake. Did you ever see the recently released remake of the movie, Vacation? At one point, two friends are sitting down to dinner and one points out how the other didn’t click “like” on any of her Instagram photos from their Paris trip. She’s legit confused by this. Later, Christina Applegate’s character goes back and likes all of the photos, even adding comments, but there is nothing sincere about it. She felt forced. Sometimes when you spend your day “liking” things or always liking the same person’s posts because you want to stay relevant to them, you just feel fake. It’s not that they don’t think the dog is adorable or the kid is hilarious — it’s just exhausting. 

3. Your friends just don’t agree or care. Sometimes they just can’t even with your posts. Don’t take offense. It doesn’t mean you aren’t friends. Unless of course you really aren’t friends outside of social media. All this means is that maybe they disagree with what you’re saying, but it’s not big enough of a topic to get all up in arms about, so they simply don’t click “like.” Or maybe they just don’t care. This may or may not be the right answer but it happens. Again, no worries. It’s good we are all different. We should be.  

To those who don’t click “like” on everything, kudos to you. You don’t need to. If you’re feeling disconnected from somebody, give them a call or plan a date. You don’t have to be an FB socialite to be liked (see self-worth comment above). It’s great to have a Facebook presence but not at the expense of your self-esteem. If your moods swing from high to low every time you get on FB, or you find yourself acting differently around in-person friends, husbands or kids after coming off a social media binge it’s time to reevaluate. Again, like it or not, you are hardwiring your brain to respond this way. The good news? You can unlearn this behavior as well, and keep social media in the enjoyable space it should stay. 

Jena Pugh
Jena Pugh is a stay-at-home working mom, a wife to her adoring husband Paul, and mama to two spunky girls. She currently writes daily blogs for Entertainment Benefits Group, a travel company that sells discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks (BestofOrlando.com, OrlandoFunTickets.com) and Las Vegas (BestofVegas.com) shows and attractions. Her blogs include happenings in both Vegas and Orlando as well as celebrity sightings in Sin City. Jena also teaches group fitness classes with Jacksonville Stroller Strength and is certified as a nutrition coach.


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