Generation “Like” — How Social Media Has Made it Impossible to Endure Rejection

We’ve built an emotional ecosystem on likes. Blind algorithmic approval from “friends” on social media. Our eager willingness to leave our validation of self and the life we’re living in the hands of others has diminished our ability to endure rejection.

A matter of seconds pass and we haven’t received approval and we immediately feel rejected, unworthy, and ignored. We look for a stamp of approval on our choices (the ones we choose to share) by broadcasting what we eat, who we’re with, where we’re at, you name it — we seek, our ego seeks, approval.

For a generation of people who are obsessed with making their own choices and not following rules (or rather creating their own) it’s ironic to seek a sort of permission from our digital watchdogs. And this permission or okay-ness we are looking to achieve is chipping away our ability to be good enough, eroding our stamina to endure rejection — and this carries over into all areas.

We don’t get a promotion at work fast enough — we look to quit our jobs. A relationship fails to move at a pace we deem quick enough — we swipe right to find more options. We no longer give things a moment to marinate — to build and ebb and flow. We cut our losses before they are ripe and onto the next.

The loss of patience and calm and giving things (some things) to the universe has created an environment of instant gratification — a life where the glass will always be half full. We like to refer to this type of person as a go-getter — how positive, look at how much they go after and how quick they achieve their dreams, right? Maybe, but at what cost?

It’s an emotionally expensive life to keep up — drink your celery juice, attend that mindfulness seminar, live that curated life — but make sure you document it along the way so that people you don’t know will aspire to be like you. Validation served up like a two hour stamp at a mall. You are good. You are worthy.  Living your life in a haze of filters — of the prettiest life possible. Reiterating over and over again our hatred [fear] of and inability to withstand rejection.

And look, I’m not serving up hate, I’m just reflecting on how I feel. Let’s be honest, this post is living on a blog about fashion — I too am a victim of being like-driven, of wanting to know that I matter, to leave a footprint, digital or other on this world.

But it’s important to break it down so that we might lift each other up — to help one another strengthen our rejection muscles. Failure is the great equalizer and helps us become who we are.

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