Today’s world is characterized by social media and digital communication. The phenomenon of „liking gaps“ is therefore playing an increasing role. This refers to missing social interactions that do not meet one’s own expectations. This can refer, for example, to social media posts or other interactions on social networks. Too little attention is paid to these in the context of the „Liking Gaps“ or there is no feedback. This quickly creates the aforementioned „Liking Gap“.
„Liking Gaps“ cause confusion in many places, sometimes even negative emotions. They represent the damage side of the digital world and can be caused either arbitrarily or involuntarily. Due to the discrepancy between one’s own self-assessment and reality in terms of personality, attractiveness and abilities, „Liking Gaps“ can quickly occur.
However, many people are completely unfamiliar with the term „Liking Gap“. This is to be defined and explained in the following article therefore once fully comprehensively. In addition, concepts, influences and examples in everyday life as well as potential countermeasures for „Liking Gaps“ are to be pointed out.
Definition of Liking Gap
The term „Liking Gap“ originates from the English language and is composed of the verb „to like/liking“ and the noun „gap“. Combined, „Liking Gap“ therefore means something like „evaluation gap“.
This refers to the reactions to social media posts in the form of text postings, comments, own posts, videos or images. Social media users usually post with the intention of making their content available to a broad audience, which should then rate it (positively) in the best case. However, if this evaluation in the form of „likes“ (this is the name given to the evaluation on a social media portal) fails to materialize, the sender of the post quickly gets the impression that it is being ignored or otherwise pandered to.
The „Liking Gap“ therefore corresponds to a psychological perception that does not always have to be concrete, but can also be perceived in this way. In part, the „Liking Gap“ can be willfully caused, in part, unfortunate circumstances, such as impractical publication times for posts, can ensure that a „Liking Gap“ is favored.
Where does the term „Liking Gap“ come from?
The term „Liking Gap“ originated in the world of social media platforms and is considered a perceptual effect discovered by behavioral researchers within the past 10 to 15 years. Before the advent of social media, the „Liking Gap“ effectively did not exist. Although there were social situations before social media in which the addressees of a message or an address failed to share, the term „Liking Gap“ was not used for this. The verb „to like/liking“ here clearly refers to the „likes“ function on social media platforms.
„Liking Gaps“ in Social Interactions
„Liking Gaps“ play a crucial role especially in social interactions and raise interesting questions. These ensure that a discrepancy arises between one’s own perception and that of other people. The following subsections therefore deal with the concept of „Liking Gaps“, with their influencing factors and should provide concrete examples from everyday life.
The concept behind „Liking Gaps“ refers to the discrepancy between self-perception and the perception of others. We often tend to emphasize our own strengths and achievements in a particularly positive way, without realizing that these are not perceived by outsiders, or are not rated equally well. Misperceptions can quickly lead to interpersonal tensions in the course of „Liking Gaps“. „Liking gaps“ therefore promote misunderstandings, broken friendships or other negative social dynamics. The anonymity and purely digital communication on social networks even encourages this circumstance.
Liking Gaps: Influencing Factors
There are a number of influencing factors that promote „Liking Gaps“. These will be listed clearly in this section:
- Individual self-doubt
- Negative experiences or low self-esteem
- Social norms and expectations
- Social context
- Communication and nonverbal signals
- Misunderstandings or misinterpreted signals
Understanding the above influencing factors is crucial to eliminate the basis of a „Liking Gap“ and to prevent it from occurring. The less discrepancy there is between self-perception and external perception, the lower the chances of a „Liking Gap“ occurring.
„Liking Gaps“ can be observed especially on social media. These occur primarily when a post does not receive the expected response (for example, remains ungeliked or uncommented). But the „Liking Gap“ is also often encountered in everyday life. For example, a person who considers himself or herself unattractive, while other people consider him or her very attractive, is also subject to a „Liking Gap“. It can also be a „Liking Gap“ if one’s own abilities or competencies are assessed too highly or too low.
Effects of Liking Gaps
„Liking Gaps“ repeatedly lead to interpersonal conflicts and can cause us to feel less valued than is actually the case. Distorted relationships, a negative self-image and a lack of self-confidence are further effects of „Liking Gaps“. Furthermore, general satisfaction and one’s own well-being are greatly reduced.
Countermeasures for Liking Gaps
Some of the best countermeasures of „Liking Gaps“ include:
- Self-reflection (to become aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses).
- Open communication (to clarify misunderstandings and train perceptions)
- Fostering empathy for one’s fellow human beings
- Professional support (for example from a psychologist, if the above measures do not work)
Conclusion on the topic of the „Liking Gap“
The bottom line on the „Liking Gap“ is that it is a fascinating phenomenon that addresses the discrepancy between how people view themselves and how others view them. It comes into play today primarily on social media, but can also be observed frequently in everyday life. „Liking Gaps“ are suspected of promoting sometimes severe, social effects on the individual. Should a „Liking Gap“ be recognized, this should be eliminated as quickly as possible – for example, through self-reflection, self-acceptance and more open communication.
The terms „impression gap“ and „perception gap“ are related to the term „liking gap“. While the „Impression Gap“ addresses the discrepancy between one’s own impressions and those of others, the „Perception Gap“ is more concerned with the discrepancy between one’s own perception and that of others. Both terms are therefore closely related to the „Liking Gap“.