Facebook, Instagram, & Snapchat (to name a few), all base themselves off of a high-pitched, one note tune.

A notification ping that let’s you know you’ve received something. That something could range from, a new like from a cat video you had posted earlier, or maybe you just got a new follower on your page.

Back in the old days (man I feel old I’m only twenty-four!) the only pings we would get at a consistent basis was either the phone connected to the wall; announcing that someone was calling the landline (do those still exist?), or the microwave telling me that its done beating my food with radiation.

Pings are an everyday occurrence in the modern age, there’s a new saying with our phones instead of the old saying There’s an app for that its now gotten to:

“There’s a ping for that”

These pings are useful, they can help you keep organized and stay on top of what’s happening around your social media walls, but is helpful hurtful?

Is a ping no more than a constant release of the endorphins? I speak from experience in that at whenever I would get a new message from Snapchat I would feel “good.” Not good, in the sense that everything is casual and I’m in a good mood, but whenever I would get a notification, a surge of “good feeling” would run through my head, down to my spine. I knew that something good had happened because any form of contact back on my social media is generally a good thing. Rarely have I ever been hurt or distraught by my peers through Social Media, so I only ever receive “good” notifications.

Here’s my question to that:

Are we setting ourselves up for destruction?

I believe we are. Why? Because look, these pings are setting root into our minds. I can tell the difference between a ping on an IPhone to an Android ping, for when I recieve messages.

If there’s no ping, then I know my social media isn’t getting around like a pair of washed out, jean pants that women made a pact to share across the world. I then become aware that maybe my post wasn’t all that it was cooked up to be. Thusly I take down the post, analyze it to find out what I did wrong and then I’ll post something else. All in hopes for more likes, more attention and more pings.

I’ve become addicted to the need for approval and the pings are the biggest influence. I’ve been duped into the conditioning scheme, and I haven’t even found out yet.

What is the Conditioning Scheme? Let’s look back in History (time to put on my reading glasses)

Back in the old days, there was a Professor by the name of Ivan Pavlov

Ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs? This was the hairy man in charge of the theory. It’s even based off of his name: Pavlovian Conditioning (otherwise known as Classical Conditioning).

Pavlov had a theory, the theory questions if he could get dogs to salivate when no food was present, just by the stroke of a bell.

So he ventured forth, he got a dog and hooked the dog up to a gizmo that would collect the dogs saliva. Pavlov would have a bowl of dog chow ready, and before it was time to eat Pavlov would ring a bell. Once the bell was rung, the dog was then able to munch down.

As this would go on, the dog would correlate dinner time to the ringing of a bell. Once the dog was tamed to the sounds of the bell; Pavlov then took the dinner away, and even though there wasn’t food in front of the dog, the animal still would salivate as if it was getting food.

This same concept applies to Social Media. We get a notification and that notification would mean that something has happened on our walls; there’s attention coming our way. Once that happens we feel good about it so we want to then post more.

It’s an ongoing war, constantly feeding the beast that is Media. The Notification feature is merely a sound, a mating call of the beast. Pulling you back in for more and more till it’s thirst is satiated (click on satiated to see a cool music video!)

So, here’s my question to you this morning. Are you your Social Media? Or is your Social Media, you? Are you addicted, do you feel strung out when you haven’t received your quota of likes for the day?

It’s funny, at one point I would’ve called myself a Recovering Medialite.

In the meantime as we enjoy what our friends are writing, sharing, and blogging we never mind the ping that appears in the background. Take a hard look at that ping. In fact, I challenge you to turn your Notifications off for all of your applications. Send a message and receive one, or even better post onto one of your walls and turn off your notifications.

How do you feel?

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