"A Male Monkey With Broadband"

Jonah Lehrer is disturbed how social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even blogs "quantify our social life" by counting friends, followers, and readers:

[Because digital social platforms] exquisitely measure our place within the network, we know exactly who the powerful people are; it's like high-school, except on a massive scale. (Reading the comments on many popular blogs reminds me the sycophants who surrounded the popular kids in 9th grade. It's all applause and affirmation, with every criticism shouted down.) Furthermore, the quantification of our social world inevitably inspires a certain kind of social anxiety. We want to be moving upwards, to have more friends and more followers and more connections. (Such are the burdens of being a social primate.) It's a ridiculous endeavor, of course, and I chastise myself every time I check my twitter count, but it's also a deeply seated instinct.