The moment you begin liking or commenting on people’s posts on social media as an agreed-upon exchange of ‘value’ is the moment you are no longer being genuine. Once you start liking someone’s content without regard to whether you actually like it or not – because they’ve agreed to do the same for you – is the moment you become a servant to social media.
While everyone wants to feel like what they have to offer is of value, entering into agreements where you will engage with other people’s posts if they engage with yours means that the engagement is no longer prompted by the value something offers, but instead by the value you hope to get in exchange for your engagement.
Social media is already an unfair system – which is why people seek to find ways to outwit it – and, generally speaking, it’s foolish to think that changing your behavior to manipulate a system in your favor is something that hasn’t already been accounted for. Especially when social media is made up of millions of people just like you who are seeking ways benefit from it. With enough data, your response to your experience on social media becomes predictable.
Every action you perform on social media – and many that you perform on your phone or in your computer browser – are tracked and analyzed. And have been since you joined their system. This is not done for your benefit, but for theirs. Again, with enough data, your behavior becomes predictable – especially when collated with the data of millions (or billions) of other people.
Social media companies are like casinos, they exist to make money and the systems that allow them to do so are forever slanted in their favor. The more a company can manipulate people into changing their behavior, the more predictable people become and the more money a company can make.
If you’ve fallen into a pattern of changing your behavior on social media from what was once authentic & natural to something that is inauthentic & calculated in order to manipulate social media to work for you, understand that this behavior has already been accounted for and the only thing truly being manipulated is you.