I was hanging out with a couple friends the other day and I half-jokingly said I think everytime someone gets a notification on Facebook, a little bit of dopamine is released. Then my friend Adam Davis, said that we like Facebook because we make it about us.
Then he started to break it down…
Isn’t it funny how a notification that you assume is a comment for your most recent, hilarious status update or one more like on your new profile picture actually turns out to be an event invite? And now now, all of a sudden, in your abrupt loneliness, you have no desire to go to it?
There you were: about to drop down the list of your most recent notifications. You were out for the weekend and you haven’t once checked your smartphone facebook app so you have quite a few. Already you’re imagining your virtual popularity, all the likes your witty comments must have gotten, all the LOL’s, all the respect you always knew you deserved is finally here and only one click away. So you click the little globe and behold: They’re all event invites from people you rarely even talk to and you realize that you are little more than a face on a ‘going’ list. As a result, I’ve trained myself not to check event invites, period. I’m tired of being let down.
I thought that was interesting. And true! We don’t seem to be as excited about an event because the notification isn’t about us, it’s about what they want to do. If you receive a notification for a thread you commented on, but don’t care to read replies to it, you feel the same apathy. These notifications aren’t as gratifying probably because they don’t involve you as much.