Sally Field Said It Best

You like me. You really like me.

Actress Sally Field accepts her Academy Award for best actress in the film "Places in the Heart" at the Oscar ceremonies in Los Angeles March 26, 1985. "I can't deny the fact you like me, " she said in her acceptance speech, "Right now, you like me."

But  . . .

She didn’t say those words when she accepted her Oscar Award in 1984, though those very words have been widely attributed to the ones which left her mouth.

Nope. Not properly quoted.

Here’s what she did say: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”

So why do we all seem to remember her words incorrectly?

Some neuroscientists have asserted that the simpler of the two sentences is “stickier” in our collective memory because, much like actors who crave adoration and acceptance, we all want to be embraced and reassured our our worth and worthiness.

Does anyone who’s ever shared something controversial, disclosing, or self-deprecating on any form of social media doubt this?

Say you argue against the “popular crowd” in your community about an issue they have gotten behind but without knowing all the facts. You feel compelled to, at the very least, share your knowledge. You do that on FB, and you open yourself up to not only “thumbs-up” likes but also a litany of one-liners making appeals to emotion in the face of facts. And when one out weighs the other, the result is either collective vindication or public shaming.

Say to open yourself up and share something “private.” (The quotation marks are intentional as “private” matters have become less so in the age of social media.) Let’s say it is a disclosure of your emotions real and raw. Some might comment, some might not. You might have a FB “friend,”  who is a real friend, email you — or even call. The non-responses will likely outnumber the phone calls, but does that one personal reaching out trump the dearth of “real” support?

Say you announce how you have been “going through who really reads” your posts and will delete any “friend” who doesn’t take the time to put in a one-word comment on how the two of you met. This can be seen as a perfectly efficient way to “weed out” those people who don’t take the time (albeit a micro second) to write “school” or “work” and retain those of the “friends” who, now having proven themselves, are worth keeping. It can also be seen as a passive -aggressive way of having the reader/”friend” take on the responsibility of “unfriending” through the silent “opting-out” option.

But in the end, you’ll have some collection of people you can point to and say: “Those people, they like me. They really like me.”

Any maybe that feels good.

Or maybe it feels as good as it can get in the digital age of “likes” and from-the-hip quick comments.

I am not immune to this human phenomenon. For if you got this far, my blog stats will record one “view” from one “visitor.”

And that will make me feel good.

So thanks.

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