Fishing for Likes by the River

There is one memory that stands out to me as the epitome of social media today.

A year or two ago, a few friends and I were going to visit another friend, let’s call her Jenny, in a cute (but rundown) rivertown. Jenny was always a popular girl and very likable, a girl who can easily get 150 likes on her photos now. When we got there, we decided to visit the river and take some fun pictures. (In fact, my header photo is a picture from that day.) Jenny decided to take a picture and then upload it on Instagram with a nice, reminiscent caption. “Okay, you guys all have to go and like my picture,” Jenny said. We laughed, because after all, what are friends for? There is an unspoken agreement that you always like your close friends’ pictures, no matter how atrocious it is.

Then, an hour or two passes by. “Wait, nobody liked me picture!” Jenny exclaimed. “Was it my caption?” she wondered aloud. Confused, I glanced over at her photo because, after all, this was Jenny. She was popular and likable! How could she not get any likes? I scanned the phone screen to see the likes, and I see she got a hefty 30-40 likes. “What do you mean you didn’t get any likes?” I asked, confused. That was a good 30-40 people liking her photo! Imagine putting all those people in a small room. It would fill up! “No,” Jenny murmured, “it’s just not enough. That’s basically nothing!”

Quite some more time passes by (but not without Jenny checking the picture every few minutes). “Ahh!” Jenny exclaimed, “It’s really close to 50! Maybe there’s hope for this picture after all!” The rest of us rolled our eyes. “Jenny, calm down. Who cares about an instagram picture?” one of my other friends asked, raising his eyebrow. “I care!” Jenny said as she tried to shoot us a glare but then failed miserably by giggling.

Another few minutes pass by, and Jenny is anxiously checking her phone. “You know what, I’ll just take this picture off and repost it at another time with a better caption. It’ll get more likes then.” We rolled our eyes again, but it was definitely more pronounced this time – to make sure she definitely saw. “Jenny, you’re being ridiculous.” Jenny waved her hand to dismiss us, and she deleted the photo.

An hour or two later, she decides to repost the picture (with a different caption). By the time we decide to leave, the picture easily receives 50 likes, and Jenny’s content. “Oh my God guys, my picture received 50 likes!” We laughed, “Not that it matters, Jenny.” Jenny smiled and shook her head to indicate she knew how silly she was being own. “Okay bye guys, it’s been fun. Thanks for visiting.” We all hugged her, and then departed from that tiny little town.