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When I re-post something – it is generally a quote or someone’s status as of now – on Facebook, I am flattered by the number of likes I get. It tells me that people liked what I liked or what I shared. But, does it really mean that? It might simply mean that some people are trying to please me or that some people are feeling pressurised to like what I said because the post was liked by others too. So far, I am wary of social networks and don’t add a ‘friend’ if I can’t recall the person. However, for many people the number of ‘friends’ on Facebook is a prestige issue and gives a much-desired ego-massage. Numbers deeply influence us. The author writes about the findings of a programmer who designed a Demetricator which hides the numbers on Facebook – for example instead of 10 people like this, the tool changes it to people like this – and who had several people (5000 users) use the tool and report the observations. The results – as the author puts it – were illuminating. It was found that most users liked the pressure-free experience while several others rejected the tool completely (they wanted the numbers).

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/11/how-numbers-on-facebook-change-our-behavior/382005/?single_page=true

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