I decided for my social media breaching experiment to like every profile picture of 10 acquaintances of mine on Facebook; five girls and five boys just so I could see the reactions from both genders. As part of the social media world, we like it when other people like our pictures–it gives us a rush of endorphin and instant gratification. However, when someone likes all of your pictures, for some reason (I’m not even entirely sure why, invasion of privacy on a public site?) its weird. I also decided that I would have to test this out with 10 people I don’t normally talk to, because all my close friends know I’m weird and they might not even think twice about it–plus it adds to the breaking of the social norm to like the pictures of people I don’t really know.
At first I wasn’t really sure who do use, and I wanted it to be unbiased, so the first 10 people on my timeline that I knew, and had spoken to at least once, I went to their profile and just started liking all of their pictures.
As I was liking all of their pictures, I honestly felt like I was invading their privacy when the pictures starting going all the way back into their middle school times–when, lets face it, was everybody’s embarrassing stage.
When I was done, I was anxious at the reactions I would get, because I personally have blocked boys who went through and liked all my pictures if I didn’t know them on that level for it to be a funny joke.
The first response I got was from a girl I went to high school with, she “@” me on Twitter with a screenshot of all the notifications I gave her and said “thank you for that” with an emoji.
I was surprised that she “put me on full blast” like that, in front of all our Twitter friends, but then I figured she was probably just trying to make a joke about it, too. So when I messaged her on Facebook explaining my experiment, she then went on to ask about how my life is and that we should talk more often! Maybe she’ll become one of my close friends…who knows?
The next three responses I got were from boys that I “like spammed”, and they all messaged me.
The “what the hell.” message honestly shocked me, because he was honestly mad that I just liked a bunch of his pictures, which on a different basis would be a positive thing. Or he could’ve been upset with all the notifications he got, interrupting whatever he might of been doing.
I also think that all three of them were possibly trying to use my likes as a conversation starter, thinking that my likes showed interest (another unspoken rule on social media: many consecutive likes means you are interested in that person and want them to message you), which explains the last picture. All of my likes gave him confidence to call me “love” and no, he is not from the U.K.
The last girl who contacted me based on my likes made a joke about it too, but also in a way that asked “why would you like all my pictures?”
I was shocked with how these people responded, because personally if someone I didn’t know did this to me, I would either just block them no questions asked, or I wouldn’t say anything (unless I was potentially interested in them).
Overall, this experiment made me really think about the unspoken social rules for social media. At one point, someone had to of told us these…or else there wouldn’t be any, right? Or what would happen if everyone just started to break all these rules, and make their own? What would happen to the social media communication we know today? How one (or 40+) like can potentially revolutionize online communication.