Rose ButtonDuring a run today, I found myself reflecting on the fact that one of my running pins had managed to pick up over 150 repins on Pinterest. And I thought, “Isn’t it strange that a high number of people repining a simple post on leg toning should have this kind of impact on my emotional state”.

Then it occurred to me that many people today feel the same way when their profile is “liked” on Facebook, their post is retweeted on Twitter or they are recommended on Linkedin. They become addicted to the “like”.

I’ve heard a few conversations on television talk shows and have read a few blog posts that question the type of society we have created where Facebook “likes” become more significant than “real” friendships.

My observation is that they aren’t more significant, just a reflection of our times.

Back when Dale Carnegie was first creating his programs and making observations about human behavior, giving honest and sincere appreciation was the rule of the day. People craved appreciation. As Carnegie put it, they were starved for sincere appreciation.

That condition still holds today in the age of social media and mobile smart devices.

Now if I can get more positive responses in the form of Facebook “likes” from online followers than I can get in the form of smiles from someone in the same room, then I’m going for the positive results.

That’s not a reflection of the state of our society. That is a statement about the relationship I have with the person sitting in the same room.

There are a few things we can take away from this.

First, our face-to-face relationships are now competing in a bigger environment. Bare minimum attention won’t cut it any more. We have to be prepared to give honest and sincere appreciation to make our “real” relationships more meaningful.

Second, why limit yourself to giving appreciation in face-to-face situations when you can leverage the power of the Facebook “like”, the Linkedin recommendation, a Twitter retweet, a Pinterest repin, or a comment on someone’s blog post. Do it all.

Take every opportunity, both online and offline, to show people you appreciate them. Your circle of friends will grow exponentially.