“To all mankind, may we never find space so vast, planets so cold, heart and mind so empty that… that we cannot fill them with love and warmth.”

-Dr. Tristan Adams, Star Trek: Dagger of the Mind

Today during a run , I found myself reflecting on one of my Pinterest running pins picking up over 150 repins. And I thought, “Strange that lots of people repining a simple leg toning post should have this kind of impact on my emotional state”.

Then it occurred to me that many people today probably get that same feeling when, for example, someone “likes” their Facebook post. Or someone retweets their Twitter post or recommends them on Linkedin.

Have we become addicted to the “like”? Or is this something more universal?

I’ve seen a few posts that question the type of society we’ve created where Facebook “likes” are more significant than “real” friendships.

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

Apply Dale Carnegie Principle of Appreciation to Social Media

When Dale Carnegie created his program about human behavior, giving honest and sincere appreciation was the rule. People craved appreciation. Carnegie went so far to say people were starved for sincere appreciation.

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

Rest assured, that as human beings craving appreciation, we are going to maximize positive responses. So, if I can get more positive responses in the form of Facebook “likes” than I can get in the form of smiles from someone sitting next to me, then the “likes” win!

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

There are a couple of things we can take from this.

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

Next, don’t limit yourself to giving appreciation in face-to-face situations. Leverage the power of the Facebook “like”, the Linkedin recommendation, a Twitter retweet, or a Pinterest repin. Do it all.

Take every opportunity, both online and offline, to show people you appreciate them.

Your circle of friends will grow exponentially.