Are you Pavlov’s salivating dog?

Red and White NOTIFICATIONS + DING = (CS) Conditioned Stimulus

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drooling-in-dogs IMAGE

(Image Credit: purrsngrrs.com / Google images)

Are you?

Because I am.

Let me tell you “why.” (Pavlovian / respondent conditioning) Red & White NOTIFICATIONS + DING = (CS) Conditioned Stimulus

It’s been years since I utilized Facebook, for several reasons, and one of the reason is that I have nothing to brag about. It’s true. I really don’t have any. Not that I don’t enjoy showing off how awesome my kids are and how much of a good chef my wife is.

I guess it’s really not my cup of tea. Every once in a while, I do drink Jasmine, Green or English Breakfast. But, I’m a COFFEE FANATIC. I love it dearly. Darn it! The word coffee is making me salivate.

I digress. My apologies.

“Dude! Get to the point!”

Okay, okay…chill. Take a sip of that Frappuccino.

Going back to my Facebook anecdote. I used myself as a Social Media experiment. I created a new Facebook account. “Why?” you ask. Because I deactivated my old one and since the email account I used was a Yahoo! account, which I deleted years ago, and I am unable to access it, therefore, I am unable to activate my old account. There you go. (1 – I’m not anti-social, not anymore. 2 – I am not trolling for Likes, although it sure does feed my ego.)

So yesterday, my Facebook and Messenger app had red and white NOTIFICATIONS every five minutes. I kid you not. And that darn thing wouldn’t stop. DING, DING, DING, DING, DING! Ah! It was driving me crazy.

Truth is, I loved it. Every minute of it. I was able to connect with friends, relatives, people I don’t really want to connect but I know them anyway (because having single digit friends = “L” word.) C’mon, admit it. You do it, too.

Friends messaged me and asked, “How I was doing?” Few calls and they didn’t mince words, “Oh my God, you’re not dead. Dude! I thought you were.” High School friends and relatives from different continents “Waved” at me, apparently, wave is the NEW POKE. Thanks, Facebook, for evolving from a finger to FIVE. K-U-D-O-S!

From morning to evening I was salivating. Constantly checking my phone. I was like an illegal-substance dependent feenin’ for his fix. I was jonesin’ for a connection but all I got were “Likes” for my pics. I mean, I do appreciate the gesture. I guess what I really want more than anything is real connection.

Did I get it from Facebook?

Please don’t get mad at me, M-Zuck. I didn’t get the love I desperately want. With all sincerity, I needed human connection from people whom I knew.

As a matter of fact, I even posted this:

“Thanks for the (thumbs up and heart emoji)! Question: Is FB still a place where people are cordial to each other? Serious question. I mean, I understand that being cordial feeds our ego. Sorry just being honest. Are we supposed to use Social Media only to congratulate and not reach out to those who are feeling otherwise? If we don’t start a dialogue, then I know the answer. I’m not trolling. Just really curious. I’ve been using LinkedIn mainly for business and not pleasure. But I’m surprised to realize that strangers are more compassionate, helpful, and understanding. Pardon my venting. Have a wonderful MLK Day! (Peace sign, Heart emoji)

And the reaction I got was…wait for it…CRICKETS! 1 Thumbs up emoji. That’s it.

“What did I do next?” you ask.

I didn’t delete my Facebook and Messenger apps. I just turned off my Notifications. I’m done salivating for human connection.

I am lucky enough to get it from my wife and 3 kids. I don’t need to be greedy.

Oh, and I get my human connection from my engagements with LinkedIn users. That’s where I get my Internet fix.

In closing, I get why Black Mirror “Nosedive” (Season 3, Episode 1) resonates with my Pavlovian experience. I came to the realization that speaking your mind doesn’t equate to BEING WOKE (ask a Millenial for translation), but rather feeling beat.

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