People tend to pay more attention to others’ signs of approvals more often than they realize.
These are more pronounced in social media and other online social circles, in the forms of social approval indicators such as likes, followers, subscribers, comments, and mostly anything that can be quantified. In workplace, this comes in the form of any intranet blogs and SFW (Safe For Work) Social Media websites.
Ratings and reviews on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms can be cited as one of the best examples where, in one way it helps to read them before making purchasing judgments and doubly acts as a barometer for a product’s quality from the people who use them directly. However, on the other hand, they are not quite effective and come with loopholes and back doors. The main loophole being the fact that such quantifying metrics could be manipulated in many ways – skewing the numbers, portraying percentages instead of real numbers, depicting values under extreme conditions instead of a real random sampling, to name a few.
When people blindly rely on such measures to make decisions, it marks the beginning of complexity and jeopardizes the act of real value creation.
What’s the solution, then?
Well, knowing how to read and translate such approval indicators, leaving some room for benefit of doubt with a 20% here and there trying as best as one could, and to be as close to the person or product in question as possible, helps to a greater extent.
To conclude, please don’t fall for such indicators and factors alone and try to make educated decisions wherever such social approvals matter – this matters more in professional situations such as recruiting.
Recommended Reading: The Art of Social Media – Power Tips for Power Users, by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick
Cheers, and take care!