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Likes Vs. Respect

Millennials might be the last generation to remember life before the like button. What was invented as a simple and harmless, animated thumbs-up feature for Facebook in 2008 now controls the life of many.

Imagine if we lived in a time where we didn’t have “Like” buttons, but instead, we had “Respect” buttons. Would you rather have 110 Likes or 34 Respects? Do you hand out respect the same way you hand out Thumbs Up or Hearts? 

We live in a day and age where people live to be liked on social media. We’ve become conditioned to fear criticism because everything is about being “liked”. If it’s not “likes”, it’s “followers”, and if it’s not “followers” it’s “shares”. It’s human nature to seek validation and acceptance because it gives us a sense of belonging and community. However, we have to pause and ask ourselves which communities are we joining, and what do we have to do to get there? 

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines, a “Like” is an electronic registration of one's approval of something, such as an online post or comment for others to see. In simple terms when you like something, it means you simply feel some attraction to it or you find pleasure in it. On the contrary, “Respect” is defined as a consideration worthy of high regard or esteem. This means for someone to earn your respect, they have to try a little harder, and vice versa.

Like most people, I was at a place in my life where I wanted to get likes, but I knew that the likes were fleeting. This has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as I am naturally a people pleaser. The likes would come after a big win or a talk where I said something that people wanted to hear. Soon I realized I don't want to be someone that gets “likes.” Instead of “likes”, I would rather get respect. 

It's more important to be respected than liked. 

To earn a “Like” or “Heart” all you need to do is give people something they can identify with, something that will spark a memory, cause a laugh, or tug at a heartstring. Earning respect is much harder. You need to work for it. You need to portray integrity, skill, talent, expertise, craftsmanship, athleticism, hustle, grind, tenacity, or grit. Respect is so much deeper than a like, than saying the right thing that people want to hear. Yes, you may get criticized. For me, I then remember that I at least tried to stand for something in my life. It might not have been something that's always been popular or even everyone believed in, but at least I tried to stand with it, with a firm conviction and belief that I was trying to do the right thing for God and for people. And hopefully my actions would be able to back that up.

Regardless of what you decide to share with the world, let's make a team effort to not seek to be liked, but to seek to be respected. Let's start a movement where instead of simply clicking a button, we share a compliment, thoughts, or prayers.

Let’s start some healthy conversation! Shoot me a text with your thoughts on this topic at 904-441-5450.

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