How much is it worth when you “favorite” a tweet or “like” a comment on Facebook? What does it mean to you when someone does it to something you’ve posted?
Dustin Senos wrote an excellent post on the how he believes “our online personas inhabit worlds of false value.” But is that value really false?
I don’t believe our capacity to appreciate things has a limit. People have expressed how much they like things verbally, I’d guess, for as long as we’ve been verbal. That those expressions now also take the form of clicks shouldn’t subtract value from what it means to like something.
What might be happening instead is that our infinite arsenal of “faves,” “stars,” “hearts,” “likes,” etc. has diluted the value of our compliments for others. In other words, the fact that someone likes your band but also loves, say, Maroon 5 probably makes you question their judgement. It’s possible for (who am I kidding) her to contain a love for the ’5 and you in the same brain, but it affects the value you get from her proclaimed love for you.
Perhaps it’s more a question of discernment and actively cultivating taste. But even still, to what end? If your uncle stopped liking Bud Light (both in a cup and on Facebook) would that add value to how much he loves your aunt?
In the case of social currency, supply and demand are both as close to infinite as it’s possible to get. Why not give it all away?
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