The Reward System…. Titans of Monkey Bars and Watering Holes

Think back to a time were the most important social contracts & reputations were established over an appointed 20-30 minute time span of bliss and free time from an arduous academic routine, aptly coined recess…..

    Who was the kid that always captained kickball or any other playground sport?

Which kid had all of the answers to EVERYTHING because he/she had an older sibling or some equally quasi-legitimate source for all knowledge above K-6 logic?

Why did everyone give up monkey bar rights to one child and his/her entourage?

Who sat on the edge of the playground not participating in recess?

The one thing each one of those children had in common, was the fact that their status or place on the grounds, was given to them by their peers as a form of recognition & reward (or punishment) for superlative qualities… The same is true within the walls of academia, only add to it the stress of pleasing authority figures…. Don’t get bummed out reminiscing, keep in mind we are talking about a time when the greatest feat accomplished in life was staying up past bedtime without parental notice, dressing oneself, licking your own nose & mastering “crop dusting”….. actually, that ability is kinda awesome!

Point is, we spend our entire existence desiring to be recognized,merited and respected as superlative individuals.

If you don’t agree…..”OHH”… by the way congratulations on your recent “level up” on Candy Crush Saga and no I do not want to play, “ohh” and let me not forget to “like” status your; check-in at lunch, the millionth post of your baby or kitten, 100pt word, or your “week stretch” for logging food & workouts…..

The point was made not to chastise, to the contrary.…

The reward systems created by lifestyle, brand and recreational apps; which are used daily by millions of 9 to 5 grinders, gluten free bread winners, fitness obsessed, soccer parents & carpool captains alike, are psychologically validating. For instance, currently, I am indirectly connected to my Facebook account via Spotify …why? To broadcast my awesome choice in music, to over 800 people, that may or may not care about my meticulously arranged playlists, on the off chance someone will merit my efforts with a  “like” status on my activity, as I write this article!
This need for validation has seeped into my boozy behaviors, how so?!

I love earning badges on #Untappd & boast my superior drinking habits & virtually derived rewards to my connected social networks!

In this dark job market, I make a great effort to commend my friends for promotions or new jobs on LinkedIn, text or in person…why? Despite my own lack luster professional portfolio (->my last promotion was a $1.00 raise at a local shop I was employed, granted the excitement didn’t last too long after comparing my $70k student loan reality to my $10 p/hr existence….I earned a few badges on that paycheck  <-) ,I am not a HATER. I recognize that it feels great to be acknowledged for professional achievements.
Granted, if any of my accomplished friends should want to celebrate their achievements at a local watering hole….understand that I am a mere member of the entourage living vicariously through the newly acquired social status of a former peer turned Titan.
Congratulations, I am proud of you really….but the only app that will respond to me buying drinks is my bank app flashing a “overdrawn” status the next morning….so yeah…..

One Response to “The Reward System…. Titans of Monkey Bars and Watering Holes”
  1. Amen girl! I’m actually going to detox from bookface for a week. I’m tired of the boasts the crap the everything. I rather miss blogging.


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