December 4, 2012

Today it seems like social networks are pushing us in a direction to seek validation constantly. Many of us seem to get fueled on what in essence is based more popularity rather than substance. People thrive on the number of likes they get from their facebook family. Then there is the endorsement segment on linkedin, oh….the pressure. And then there’s twitter, how validating is it, if your tweet is re-tweeted? Endorse Me Please!

But, what happens if you don’t get that oh so important thumbs up on your fb posts or photos? Do you feel ignored or abandoned by your friends? What about those skill endorsements? Suppose only 1 person endorses a set of skills v. 25 people for another, will a prospective employer believe the skewed endorsement rather what is on your resume? Then of course, what about the tweets that are not re-tweeted, does that mean the thought was simply not profound enough? I do believe people have placed some value on these types of endorsements. In a sense, we are now in a mode of constantly making a validation request….. Endorse Me Please!

Back in the day, you would ask for a letter of recommendation or a reference when you really needed it, today it comes even if you have not asked. A sort of gift – wouldn’t you say? Yes, it does make you feel good, but are you now compelled to extend the favor. My favorite – the birthday wishes on facebook. I do wonder if feelings get hurt, though unintentionally -if one year you get hundreds of well wishes and the next it is far less. What does that mean?

At the end of the day, much of it is popularity and because it is public, people really feel good from the attention. It also doesn’t cost much to hit the like button, click the endorse button or re-tweet button, and in doing this little action, you probably brightened the day and brought a smile to someone for a brief moment. That’s a good thing. Do these endorsements add value to our lives? Are they important? Do they have an impact on our future? If it does, Endorse Me Please!