Like me, please 👍🏿

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A small incident that pushed me to wean off of social media.

I posted something on LinkedIn this week. It was a image of an exciting upcoming event.

What I didn’t realise, was this image was not official. The moment I posted it, I got a few likes, and also a bunch of iMessages.

My buddies sent me one of those chain of messages where the bubbles stacked up and screamed “urgent!”:

“hi david”

“hey. r u there”

“that post on LinkedIn, you need to take it off”

“it’s not official yet”

“you there?”

“yo man”

“delete that post dude”

“hey man”

“can i call you?”

I deleted it promptly, thanked the folks that saved my butt. I also realised, I posted it, simply because … I wanted likes.

I have learned that this kind of posts have gartnered more likes that any other posts. When I saw the image, I wanted to post it, because I was craving for the recognition. I wasn’t aware of this desire. Looking back, it was clear to me that I was blinded by this desire to be liked, and did not do my homework to double check.

There are many posts I shared not because I think they were beneficial to others. Honestly, I was sharing things because I was going after the likes.

I crave for these likes, also because there were a few posts where I got a lot of views and likes, and I wanted more. It felt great when so many people were reading and liking my posts … wait, I mean … liking me.

When I first started to write online (or blog), it was back in the late 90s, when the internet just started. I was in university, and we were all given a domain to create our own websites.

I created my own website, and started putting down my thoughts there. There was no mechanism to track viewership or solicit feedback. Nothing. Therefore to me, it was an enjoyable routine because I got to write and imagine people reading my random thoughts.

Then in the early 2000s, I started writing on blogger. Again, the feedback and sharing mechanism was primitive. I chose this platform, because the promise of the platform was reach and readership. But I would never get any feedback or stats. I then created my own URL: www.minghon.com, and continued writing there. Same thing, there was simply zero feedback and sharing mechanism.

Then social media arrived, started with Friendster, then Facebook, kaixin, etc. We all went on that journey. likes, pokes, shares, comments.

When I wanted to write again, my motivations evolved. I wanted likes, shares, comments. I started writing on Facebook, then Medium, now LinkedIn. I was not aware of this change of desire.

… 🧘🏻‍♂️ …

  1. I will continue to write here, because medium is almost like a rehab. The low traffic and reach will help wean me off of all the dopamine hits from other social media.
  2. I will challenge myself to limit my activities on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  3. I will do this by always asking myself, “Is this meaningful to others and … yes, humanity”, instead of “How does this help me build my brand?”.

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