Wednesday, 16 March 2022

What we measure is what we get

There is a saying in quality assurance & HR: "what we measure is what we get". And often we may forget to clearly think about what it is we are asking for. If we reward a team for a low accident rate, they will not report accidents. If we pay people a bonus for not taking sick leave, we will get sick people coming into work. If we award time off for reaching the daily production goals, we will get huge volumes, quickly, but possibly at a lower quality.

So, what if we are one of those people who HAS to look when we get one of those little red dots on the corner of our social media icons? What if we are competitive, and have to collect the most, or do the most, or keep achieving more?

We start with social media to communicate, but what we get shown is the number of likes, the number of connections, and other metrics. How many people have seen our post. How many have reposted. The metrics may change our behaviour, with us going into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc only to check our notifications ...and then we log off. Instead of communicating on the communication platform, we get sucked into the metrics vortex. The platforms can become a competition, and an unhealthy competition at that. 

What we measure is what we get. 

If that sounds like us, then it is possible that Ben Grosser's Facebook Demetricator might be the tool for us to break free (Grosser, 2021; Henry, 2012). There is also a Demetricator for Twitter (Oremus, 2018) and Instagram.

After installing the Demetricator, we can use the platform for communicating, connecting, and forget about other people's likes, connections, or being sucked into the popularity contest. If I had run across this cool little piece of kit, I might have kept using social media for longer.

Download Demetricator for Chrome here.



  • Chrome Webstore (2021). Facebook Demetricator.
  • Grosser, B. (2021). Facebook Demetricator: A web browser extension that hides all the metrics on Facebook.
  • Henry, A. (25 October 2012). The Facebook Demetricator Removes the Numbers from Facebook, Leaves You No Excuse for Not Working.
  • Oremus, W. (7 March 2018). Stop Tweeting by the Numbers.

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