Shai Tubali

Why We Crave Likes and Shares

One of my greatest projects in this life is to help to heal a certain obsession in which all of us are caught. This obsession is certainly found in the business and marketing world in abundance. However, it is not limited to it.

One of my greatest projects in this life is to help to heal a certain obsession in which all of us are caught. This obsession is certainly found in the business and marketing world in abundance. However, it is not limited to it. In fact, I would say that it is prpopelled by a tremendous and primordial urge that is far deeper and more fundamental than, say, Frued’s two primal urges of sex (eros) and death (Thanatos).

What we all experience, from the very moment of our birth, is the urge to expand ourselves: become more and more of who we are, spread in every direction, break our self-limits, and enhance our influence and impact. No one is content with merely being, just being alive and breathing; what throbs in us from the moment we are is the wish to become.

Why do we experience this tireless urge? Understood from a spiritual perspective, this urge is driven by an ancient memory that lives in our cells and deep inside our minds: we vaguely and unconsciously remember our true limitless nature. For some of us, this memory becomes reawakened. This is called spirituality. But most of us just have this nagging feeling that we are somehow not limited to this stifling unit of body and mind. We may sometimes think of it as having a great potential, or we are silently tormented by a weird sense of being a Genie in the bottle, a giant that lies dormant within our being.

As long as we are stuck in this state of contraction and self-confinement, we experience suffering. Indeed, this is the most fundamental type of human suffering. Something inside us cries, mourning the loss of our unlimited nature. We long for this original condition to return. But we don’t know how to retrieve it.

In our confusion and disorientation, this primordial longing begins to take twisted forms of self-expansion. This is not our fault: we simply try our best. Among other things, this longing becomes the incessant wish to grow and expand in power and influence. And this is where we begin to be obsessed with numbers – for instance, counting the numbers of the Likes and Shares that we receive. Or trying to achieve a wider reach, going viral, going worldwide, becoming a huge success.

Since this is only a twisted form of our true urge, we can never be satisfied with this type of fulfillment. But because we don’t understand why we feel this urge and how to satiate it, we simply push even more strongly – having an ever wider reach, greater numbers, conquering the world, fulfilling everything we’ve got and then a little more. At the same time, we remain strangely frustrated, not grasping the reason for our inherent dissatisfaction.

Don’t get me wrong: it is perfectly understandable to wish to expand your business. But when this becomes your obsession, because you cannot understand what you truly yearn for, you can never reach this sense of accomplishment and you will just burn your precious energies out.

Self-expansion can never be externally fulfilled, since this urge springs from the nature of our consciousness. What you want is to re-experience your consciousness in its limitless condition. Some look for it a little more consciously in psychedelics. This, however, is also inherently limited because this type of externally induced expansion can leave you with the feeling that your heightened consciousness derives from the drug. The whole point is the experience of your consciousness as a perfectly uncaused, self-reliant, innate power.

When you finally get to taste this expansion of your being, you know what happiness is and why it has forever eluded you in whatever form of “more” you were seeking it.

Again, this doesn’t mean that you will never be happy with more Likes and Shares, only that you won’t depend on them and won’t be obsessed with outer modes of growth and expansion. As soon as the primal wish for expansion becomes fulfilled, you will no longer feel that nagging thirst. You will remember why you were once dreaming of building your empire while all you really wanted was to meditate.

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