How We've Become So Consumed By 'Likes' That We've Forgotten How To Love

"Likes" are how oral sex should be: given and received freely. They are a sweeping epidemic, and like those nasty STDS, you can’t escape giving them or getting them.

It’s become common nature to like anything and everything, not taking the time to decide if we even really like it.

We do it for attention, camaraderie and support. We do it to show that we’re here, alive and well. We do it to keep in touch, to be present and to give attention. We do it to prove our existence and, most importantly, to make sure that if I like yours, you better like mine.

And we’re doing it everywhere. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Hinge. We’re posting, blogging, blurbing and tagging, all for the prospect of likes.

We shape our pictures, videos, every opinion, status and passing whim based on how many likes they can procure. Our jokes are only funny if people are liking them and our pictures are only meaningful if they garner mass popularity.

We center our lives around the availability of likes. Everything has a number placed on it; pictures are no longer taken to capture the moment, but the attention of others. Everything is done with the unconscious, or conscious, intent to be liked.

However, this obsession with likes is really just decreasing our threshold for love. It’s creating a desensitization to real affection with an over saturation of fake attention.

We put so much meaning on these virtual forms of affection and they only end up leaving us feeling unfulfilled. We are creating an impossible standard for ourselves, with every like we beg cyberspace for.

Every compliment, comment and virtual pat on the back becomes a competition with ourselves and with others; every time someone says something nice, we’re just wondering where the other comments are. Why aren’t there more likes?

The greater problem that this like-obsession breeds, however, is that we’re spending all our efforts to get likes, rather than working on finding the only thing that will truly fulfill us: real love.

We’ve given up the idea of real love for these superficial likes that will never keep us warm at night. These likes that are wiped away with the click of a button or the crash of a screen. Likes that will not be there when we’re in pain or sadness. Likes that will never come to our aid in times of need or give us a shoulder to cry on.

Likes are about as fleeting and fulfilling as one-night stands. They come only when you’re really asking for them and though they are nice for the moment, they always leave you feeling empty by morning.

We shouldn’t be spending all our time trolling for someone to love us for a night. We should be looking for that real love. That all-encompassing, all-consuming love that will last a lifetime. Because, wouldn't you rather have one great love than 100 likes?

Likes are shallow, love has no end point.

Real love is like a well that doesn’t end. It goes on, like an infinite oasis, where you can swim your whole life and never reach the bottom.

Likes, however, are like diving into the shallow end of a pool, hitting your head on the concrete and paralyzing yourself before you even get the chance to swim.

Likes are those fake girls from high school, pretending to be your friend, but always leaving you with that sick feeling you get after a missing party invitation or when you overhear their true feelings in the bathroom stall.

Though they may give you moments of solidarity and make you feel cool walking down the hall, their presence is empty and shallow.

It's always better to be the girl in the corner with one real friend. Because one true friend who always has your back, who will never talk behind it or when you've turned it, is worth more than those superficial moments of popularity.

One great love is worth more than 1,000 likes.

“If the full moon loves you, why worry about the stars?” ― Tunisian Proverb

Isn’t it better to have one true friend than 100 acquaintances? Or one dollar over 1,000 pennies? There are hundreds of proverbs, analogies and aphorisms that attest to the very idea that quality should always beat out quantity.

However, everyone seems to be much more worried about 100 plus likes instead of the one love that matters. They worry about their following instead of finding one real person to follow.

One-thousand virtual clicks will not keep you warm at night, but one pair of strong arms will.

Rather than spending our lives trying to garner followings and Instagram pictures that will amass a small amount of fame, why aren't we looking for real love? Why aren't we putting our efforts into finding someone rather than impressing a gaggle of no ones?

It's easy to dole out likes, but much harder to give love.

It's possible to overdose on likes before ever finding real love.

Didn't your mother tell you not to snack before dinner? You'll ruin your appetite.

Likes are a lot like those empty calories. They fill us up for the moment, only to keep us from enjoying the healthy meal, the real thing.

Our like-threshold only increases our apathy to real love. The more likes we get, the smaller the pool becomes. Though we believe the more attention we get, the happier we'll feel, it's really just the opposite.

The more you’re confronted with something, the less sensitive you become to it. The more and more likes we get, the less important they become and the less fulfilled we are.

Like any other drug, you must up your dosage to achieve that initial high... until it eventually kills you.

One day, you will wake up and the 100 likes you used to get excited over will not be enough. Soon you will need 1,000. After that, you will find no fulfillment in 1,000 -- and nothing will ever seem truly important or real.

Real love does not burn out. It does not need more with every dosage and does not leave you crying at night, unsatisfied because you can't find more. Real love isn't fleeting and doesn't fade. It's the only substance you can drink up all night without coming down.

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr