Two Ways You’re Overthinking Social Media
Stop overanalyzing the likes you get AND the likes you give.
Almost everyone is guilty of overthinking social media. However, most articles focus on people who want more likes and ignore the other side of the overthinking social media spectrum, that is, people who overthink liking something.
This makes it seem as though only people who worry about likes are wrong, while ignoring the fact that likes are still important for many businesses and content creators. You don’t have to like everything, but if you like something, you should, well, like it.
I’m going to explain why you don’t need to worry about how many likes you’re getting or how many likes you’re giving.
Overthinking The Likes You Get
One side of the overthinking social media spectrum is, “If no one likes my posts, then that means I shouldn’t have posted in the first place.”
No one posts on social media because they don’t want anyone to see it. People post for engagement. The other day, I posted asking if anyone had any recommendations for waterproof mascara since I need it for my sister’s wedding. I got several response, including some suggestions for eyelash tinting and extensions. Had no one responded, I would have thought, “Wow. No one’s willing to give me basic advice for my sister’s wedding.” This wouldn’t have been a fair response, though.
Here are the three main reasons why people don’t respond to posts, as well as one bonus reason that I only recently realized was a thing and was actually the inspiration for this post:
1. They’re busy, and although they like the post, they don’t have time to press the like button.
2. They didn’t see or notice the post, either because they’re scrolling quickly or because Facebook’s algorithm decided they shouldn’t see it.
3. They don’t like the post.
BONUS: They like the post, but they don’t want to leave evidence that they like it.
None of these have anything to do with you or what you posted. Well, the bonus reason might, but we’ll get into that in a second.
If someone is busy, that’s not your fault, and if Facebook hid the post, that’s not your fault. If someone didn’t like the post, that’s not your fault. All you can do is post things that you like, whether or not they get responses.
Overthinking The Likes You Give
On the other side of the overthinking social media spectrum is overthinking your response to social media posts.
Remember when I said one reason that people don’t like posts is that they DO like the post, but they don’t want to leave evidence that they do?
If this is you, stop this now.
Look, I’ve done the same thing. I used to like someone’s post and then immediately regret it. I think this is why I’ve started to hand out likes like they’re party favours. Sometimes I’ll even like posts I don’t actually like, just because I think I should. We can delve into the psychology behind that another day.
In the meantime, here are some reasons I’ve heard for people not liking posts they actually like, and my response:
1. They’re dating or married to someone who’s insecure and they think (or know) that their partner wouldn’t like it.
I’m single, but I took an informal survey. The consensus was that if your partner is bothered by what you like on social media, your relationship has bigger problems and you overthinking what you like isn’t going to help. This may not be a popular viewpoint since women’s magazines encourage this insecurity, but letting anxiety drive the limo isn’t smart. Don’t overthink what you or your partner likes on social media; it’s a waste of time.
2. They don’t like the opposite gender’s posts as a rule.
I know people who, sometimes in connection with reason 1 above, sometimes not, refuse to like anything that the opposite gender post. Singling people out based on their gender isn’t cool. This is similar to men who refuse to be alone with women after the #MeToo movement. It singles people out as the other and implies that interacting with them is dangerous, which doesn’t say anything good.
3. They think people will judge them for the posts they like.
Generally, people aren’t thinking about you. You don’t have to like anything you don’t want to, but don’t hide it because you’re worried people will judge you. That isn’t a good way to live life. For part of my life, I thought I needed to hide who I was. Last year I realized, I don’t, because anyone who has an issue with it isn’t living my life. I am, and I’m going to do what makes me happy. Don’t hide who you are because you’re afraid of judgment.