One of the fundamental traits of humanity is the need to be liked. We crave acceptance from our friends, peers, and loved ones. This isn’t egotism talking; it’s built into our DNA. For our long-ago ancestors, survival was a group effort – if you were banished from your tribe, you were pretty much issued a death sentence, left to fend for yourself in a world where saber toothed tigers and woolly mammoths ran amok. Being liked was the key to survival.
Even today, being liked is a necessity if you want to accomplish a goal that requires teamwork. Remember Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman? To him, being liked was the entire philosophy on which his career hinged, the only way he would ever succeed in the business world.
Being liked is an affirmation of our self-worth. It’s proof that we are “on the right track,” that our very existence is meaningful.
You could even argue that being liked is the key to happiness.
Sure, there are people who claim, “I don’t need to be liked.” I don’t buy it for a second. Everybody wants to be liked, whether they admit it or not.
I’ve noticed that this desire to be liked has extended into the realm of social media, where a “like” is the ultimate measure of acceptance. Think of Facebook or Instagram, how happy you are when somebody “likes” your post or photo. The more hearts you receive or thumbs-up you garner, the better you feel.
Or maybe that’s just me. After all, I’m the one who recently lamented the lack of a viral post – the ultimate sign of being liked. By a whole bunch of people, no less.
All I know is, I am addicted to the positive affirmation that accompanies being liked. It’s the reason why I feel compelled to update my blog on a regular basis, even when I have nothing to say. And why, if a couple of days pass and I don’t upload a photo to Instagram, I start to go a little nuts. Attention feels good. It’s like a drug. Get a little and you start to crave a lot.
It also explains why I like to be unique and always strive for creativity. I hate following the pack. A perfect example of this is Rowena Crest.
Rowena Crest is an overlook in the Columbia River Gorge and site of a well-known looping highway that resembles a horseshoe and has been featured in magazines and automobile commercials. It’s one of the most commonly photographed spots in the Pacific Northwest. The problem is, every picture ends up looking exactly the same – some subtle variation of this.
Naturally, I wanted to do something different. So I wracked my brain for awhile, and came up with my own (hopefully original) take.
Because sometimes, getting those “likes” requires a little outside-the-box thinking. Or in this case, outside-the-Hot-Wheels-box.