We post a status update to make a statement, hoping to start a conversation, hoping to make them laugh.
We upload a photo of our view, hoping our friends will take a look, hoping they'll find it as beautiful as we do.
This our modern form of passive communication.
We're all just looking for our place in the world. Some sign that the people we find interesting find us interesting too. That they want to talk with us and share the view. That they get us, agree with us, like us.
But this passive form of communication--hoping, waiting, expecting digital validation--it's not mindful. It takes you out of the moment. Instead of being where you are, now, you turn away to focus on others, out there. You begin to place your expectations on them and, in turn, conjure up anxiety and doubt as you wait for that all-important *like*.
So, as you go about your digital life, repeat this mantra: there's more to life than *likes*.
A *like* is not a measure of genuine friendship. A *like* is not love. A *like* is a passive reaction to what could be a very active thought.
How a person reacts to any post is entirely subjective. Maybe they find your post funny, clever, or enlightening. Maybe it awakens an angry spirit of disagreement. You can't control that. You shouldn't attempt to.
Repeat: there's more to life than *likes*.
Even if they do enjoy the post, a digital *like* may not be their reaction. I've come to understand this even more so from writing this blog. Friends who never *like* or otherwise acknowledge a single Mindfulness Now post on Facebook, will tell me, in person, how an update really resonated with them. Their reaction was more personal than a public *like* might suggest.
That's because: there's more to life than *likes*.
Waiting for others to validate your digital life is a trap. It encourages self-editing and dishonesty. It pushes you to create a persona rather than be the person you really are.
Don't fall for it. You are the only validation you need. Be yourself, be honest, share what you want, and then let it be.
I struggle with this issue myself. Most of us do. We're all seeking a connection, hoping to be understood, struggling to be heard. When I feel bogged down, searching for validation from my digital existence, I try to take a step back and very mindful deep breath.
I remind myself: there's more to life than *likes*.
A *like* is an illusionary sign that what you posted is valuable, but in the end all that really matters is that it is valuable to you.