Participant Trophies

We hear criticism of the practice of giving trophies to all the kids who simply show up for a competition. People worry that it sends the wrong message to the kids. We seem to be telling them that they don’t need to try hard in order to get the same reward as those children who did put forth extra effort. That’s an inaccurate message, because that is not the way life works.

The social media extend that practice to adults. There are accolades for the most basic of endeavors. A friend posts a photo of the eggs he fried for breakfast and garners “Likes.” Some people pay close attention to how many Likes a particular post generates, and some folks give out Likes to essentially anything and everything that gets posted. The dilution of the meaningfulness seems not to matter. I have trouble figuring what this whole dynamic means.

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