Today’s Obsession: Being Likable

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If you dedicate your existence to being likable, however, and if you adopt whatever cool persona is necessary to make it happen, it suggests that you’ve despaired of being loved for who you really are. And if you succeed in manipulating other people into liking you, it will be hard not to feel, at some level, contempt for those people, because they’ve fallen for your shtick. You may find yourself becoming depressed, or alcoholic, or, if you’re Donald Trump, running for president (and then quitting).

This is a gorgeous, heartbreaking essay from Jonathan Franzen. In it, he looks at what we’re doing to ourselves online, how we’re subtly breaking our notions of loving. Great read for a warm, summery afternoon when we should all be away from our computers and in the sun instead.