(one of the many many possible) Recoils of spamming low quality

LinkedIn is the only Social Network that I actively use. I like it: I like it because its quality is relatively high, or at least better than the rest of the lot. One would expect some kind of professionalism on content shared there (yeah I know, I’m an incurable romantic).

One recent drop in style by many users got me thinking, and I might as well share it here. I’m talking about a specific type of content that’s been around a lot in the last couple of weeks: it existed before, but lately it got viral as a meme (better say, as a shitty disease). It normally features a picture, and the user is asked (in a playful way) to do something they wouldn’t do (liking a content-less post) by tricking them into mindless expectation of something that is not going to happen as a result of their click. First example that comes to mind: a picture of Christmas tree with lights turned off, and text to the effect of “double-click here to magically turn on the lights!”. If you do it, you’ll have been tricked into liking the post, and of course the lights will not turn on. Normally, the hi-lllla-rious prankster will also comment something like “I did trick you, but i was only being funny :)) !!1!”

Let’s leave aside how totally unfunny the thing is; let’s not consider that it goes against the rules of the platform; let’s skip all talks about professionalism.

I want to use this for some behavioural insight, if you’re interested. It also answers the question why some Social Networks (Instagram, Reddit, et cetera) are removing the number of likes underneath each post.

What I think is it’s easy for people to think they are receiving a positive reaction to this type of posts: what actually happens, instead, is they’ll see the likes, but not the dislikes. For example: if I recorded a burp of mine, and posted it on LinkedIn, I’d get a certain amount of likes. Let’s say 10. Wow, I got 10 likes by doing absolutely nothing! That was easy! What I am not seeing, is that it is possible that for each 10 likes I get, 11 people will be marking me as an idiot. I cannot see it, so it doesn’t exist. I am only aware of the 10 idiots like me who somehow found it funny/insightful (no-one knows why). But in reality, while thinking I am being smart, I am actually harming my image.

We only ever want to see positive feedback thrown our way, and tend to blindness on the negative.

Not only is this sad, but it’s also unavoidable: our brain lives for the appreciation of our peers! But sometimes it’d only take some thought to avoid behavioural misinterpretations.

Now, this is a plague that’s always been common on Facebook and other similar platforms, due to the general nature of their average user. But on a professional platform, people should know better. Should, but don’t: a clear indication that declaring oneself an expert of something is not equal to actually being one.

Soundtrack: Until all the ghosts are gone, Anekdoten