Accolades. We all want them. Don't deny it. You want them. I know I do. We live in a society obsessed with them. We spend hours pouring over Instagram feeds, scrolling down Facebook walls, and endlessly clicking through any number of other social media outlets. All the while, we're wondering how many people "liked" our last post, our last image, our last witty retort.
You mindlessly flip past others' injections into the chaotic mass that is social media, all the while hoping that everyone you know will stop and gasp at your creativity or wit. And of course reward you with a heart, and upvote, a thumbs up, a +1 or whatever the imaginary Internet point du jour is.
You wonder how that person got so many likes on their work, when obviously yours is superior. You immediately click to their page to see how many friends they have. You're astonished that they have so many friends, and logically note that you would get more likes on your work if you had as many friends.
You're obsessed with how others are doing, worried that other people might be having more fun than you are right now. Go to a party, take a picture, post it, and spend the rest of the party checking to see if everyone else has seen just how cool this party is.
Then you see the picture of your friend on top of a pyramid in Mexico. You admit that they are, in fact, having a much better time than you are, and go back to drinking lukewarm beer from the keg.
At some point in this mess you must realize just how unreasonable it is to expect happiness from an outside source. If you like the art you made, and having it around makes you happy, it's good art. If you think the joke you made was witty, by all means laugh. Tell it to the person sitting next to you, and maybe they'll laugh with you. Maybe they'll like all of your jokes. Maybe they'll even be your friend. Take a picture of you and that friend sitting together. Don't share it with the world. Just keep it with you on your phone. Keep other pictures like that on your phone. Scroll through them from time to time, and remember the fun times you had with cool people, laughing at jokes.
Live life with the people around you. A laugh heard in person is worth a million people writing "haha" in a text line. Watching someone react to a piece of art in person is worth a million people clicking "like." Who cares if JaneSays1989 or JimBob01010 likes your art, your joke, or your deft and poignant criticism of the state of the world today? You shouldn't care. That's who. You.