Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The biggest secret behind Facebook’s success revealed

The greatest of all inventions that humans have made till today have been successful because they address our fundamental needs. Humans are hungry for appreciation. We want to flaunt our achievements and hide our shortcomings. Since childhood, a baby who hasn't yet learned much tries to grab attention of the people around. Once she grows she wants her mom and dad to praise every little move she makes and every little word she utters. In school, she wants a pat on her shoulder and a star in her book by her teacher. As grown-ups, we want people to like our opinions, our decisions, and our ideas. We strive for acceptance and approval. We make friends who like us and search for our soul-mate who acknowledges our actions towards him/ her and gratifies us with something we call love. Once we have children, we want them to be proud of our achievements. In our old age, we tell our heroic stories to people around us to gather appreciation and to satisfy ourselves that we led a fruitful life. We want lesser regrets and more contentment. And even after our death, we still want people to talk good about us; hence, we only write our achievements on our tombstone. Have you ever seen someone’s tombstone saying - killed 5 people and robbed 13, or had 27 enemies and no relatives? We all say - lived like a hero and died like one.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” - Mother Teresa

Basically, what we look for throughout our life, and even post that, is appreciation and gratification.The biggest reason why Facebook has become a household name is it offers instant gratification. The best part is that it doesn't take much to gratify others. In fact, all it takes is a quick click of a button and that too for no cost at all (technically there's a negligible cost involved in the internet connection that you pay for, but you get the point right?) Facebook helps us share our selected and filtered thoughts and actions not to the world, not to a large unselected set of people but to a group of people that we carefully choose by being "friends" with them. These friends become our fans as they get to know about our selected achievements. Facebook has given "grass is greener on the other side" a whole new meaning. Each of us feel that our friends are great achievers and we are surrounded by amazing accomplished people when in fact they are the same people who surrounded us even before Facebook was invented. Now you would argue that other platforms such as Twitter and Google Plus also allow for the same gratification. But your premise is just partly correct. On Twitter, anyone can follow you, so if you're followed by your enemy, he/ she can write comments that you have no control over, and so is the case with Google Plus. But with Facebook, you first choose the people to be your friends carefully and even if a friend turns into a foe, you can delete his/her comments or simply"unfriend" him/ her and restrict that person from responding to your updates. I wish real life were so easy! 

Facebook has become the place where you feel good about yourself and where you get news about your friends and family easily. There is a reason Facebook has never introduced, and I reckon will never introduce, a “dislike” button. If it does, the dislike button will belittle our thoughts and actions due to which we will not want to go on Facebook anymore, because it will just be a replica of our real life. Currently, people are addicted to Facebook because of the single-most yet most impactful reason - instant gratification! Do you think you’re addicted to it too?


  1. Replies
    1. Hahaha...it does feel nice to receive instant gratification! :) Thanks!

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