When dating women are often give the advice to “not be too available”, since it will decrease your perceived dating value. And a lot like basic economics when something is scarce the value goes up – I believe that to apply to human interaction.
And today I have yet another social experiment to prove that when you are not available, people will try harder to get your attention–and in this case that person would be me.
Several months ago Facebook changed their privacy settings, and added “likes”/”dislikes” and “comments on comments”. I had some weird privacy settings setup that included some people seeing my wall posts and some people (mostly coworkers from my old job who seemed to judge me by my status updates). Well somehow during that migration Facebook messed up my settings essentially leaving a “;” in the field (with no value!) that essentially made all my status updates private (they only showed up when *I* viewed my profile). Of course I didn’t realize this had happened, and assumed that everyone could see my status updates.
So over the last few months I have been updating my status almost daily, and all the while wondering “Why don’t any of my friends ever comment or “like” my updates? Am I really *that* person?” Ah yes, my insecurity came blazing through. So I thought, well I will get people to respond to my updates – I will comment and “like” their statuses (I wouldn’t dare “dislike” a status since I am trying to get people to like me). So pretty much everyday I tried to comment and leave my little thumbs up. Each week that would pass I would increase my interactions with others, and still nothing. Working harder for affirmation the more unavailable the people’s response became. Just like a desperate girl trying to win an evasive guy’s attention, all the while I am thinking how I am unworthy. So P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C.
Well finally one of my friends brought it to my attention that she couldn’t read my status – and with some investigation, facebook support, and a couple of permission changes, it all made sense. People couldn’t read my status and that was why they weren’t responding – not because I am some sycophant that people silently ignore hoping they will go away.
My self confidence came bouncing back, and with it yet another confirmation that if you make yourself less accessible, many people will work harder for your attention.
(And a special thank you to b-patrick for the insights and listening to me grovel about no one responding to my fb status….)