We’ve all done it, update our profile picture or share a meme on social media and wait impulsively to get ‘likes’.
Picture this – you either change your profile picture or post a meme.
Your thoughts in a nutshell.
- 15 mins- People are online and yet they haven’t liked the picture, why?
- 30 mins- Is it funny? May be its ‘ha’ funny and not ‘haha’ funny
- 45 mins- May be the timing was wrong, Oh no! My post is going to get buried
- 60 mins- Okay I’ll delete the picture, it’s embarrassing to have one with no likes on my wall
You’ve selected the best location, worn a stunning dress, and the picture was clicked on a DSLR camera
- 4 hours- Only 5 likes? Okay I’ll wait for some time, people wouldn’t have noticed
- 8 hours- 10 likes really? God my blemishes are totally visible, and my ears look funny
- 12 hours- 13 likes and comments yay! Oh people are teasing me, never mind this publicity will get more likes
- 16 hours- This is bad, 15 likes! And I look fat in this angle, sigh! may be this is as good as it gets
If you’ve ever felt this way or deleted a picture because you didn’t get likes, then my friend you’ve got the OWLs.
OWLs? What is it? Is it some kind of a word shrinks use? Oh God, I’m already a stressed person and now I’ve got the OWLs!!
Please stop freaking out. And don’t search for it in WebMD because you won’t find it. It’s just a term I coined.
Arghhhh! What is OWLs?
“Obsession with Likes Syndrome (OWLs) is a social media condition that makes people less worried about communication and more concerned about approval.”- Anjana (yes it’s me)
Causes of OWLs
Mostly common people get affected by OWLs when ‘likes’ are the coping mechanism for either
- Social approval
- Relationship problems
- Low self-esteem
Our generation has a shorter attention span and a childlike desire for constant feedback. It has left everyone with an identity crisis just like a toddler acting out for attention.
The remedy for OWLs is like a math problem, answers are mostly hidden in the question. We just have to figure it out without losing our minds.
So pardon me, the remedy for OWLs is going to be a long yap.
Problems begin if you’re replacing likes with either one of the above causes.
We must admit that on some level all of us are guilty of this obsession. After posting something we constantly check our phone to keep track of likes. If the post does well we experience social media high and if it doesn’t then it’s a social media low.
By posting something you’re opening up your views to the online world and hope that you’ll get a good reaction. In the process you’re also making yourself vulnerable to other’s thoughts. And when you don’t receive the expected reaction, it eats you up and makes you feel bad.
I’d be a hypocrite if I say that I’m not a fan of likes. I do feel good if a post does well and disappointed when it doesn’t. Whatever the outcome is, it’s all in the moment and I move past it. I’m glad that I did not replace likes with the above said causes.
Also, there’s nothing to be ashamed with wanting likes. Don’t ignore and pretend that you don’t care. After all you are only human. Embrace it and say “It did sting” if your post didn’t do well.
As humans we constantly seek for approval around us. It is but normal to be concerned about what others feel. All of us want our posts to be well received but, let’s not obsess with optimistic feedback.
Don’t give ‘likes’ the power to control you. It is important to be comfortable with your own thoughts and accept what you think is good enough. Don’t let absence of social media ‘likes’ get in the way of voicing your point of view. You don’t always need a thumbs up.
In the wizarding world, Harry and Ron struggled to pass their OWLs (Ordinary Wizarding Level Exams, Duh!). But, in this real world we live, let’s fail in OWls. Remember that it is okay to fail sometimes.
Here’s a video that shows the extent to which OWLs has affected us. Do watch it till the end.
Featured image credits- uxpressia