Scientists at the White House have taken a break from studying the economy, political trends, and science in order to discover the answer to one important question: who is the most liked person in America? It was hypothesized that finding this person and studying their habits could lead to major breakthroughs in the public relations domain.
“We figured that the most liked person in America would be able to teach us something about how to win friends and be generally admired by the broadest radius of people,” stated lead researcher Bernerd Klutz. “This information would then have broader implications for politicians and other public figures who rely on the approval of the masses.”
The best way to quantify that “likable quality”, researchers claimed, was to tally the total number of “likes” garnered on the popular social networking site, Facebook.
“Facebook likes have become their own sort of currency for most people. Everything shared is immediately susceptible to judgment, and while there are no ‘dislikes’ as of yet, everyone understands the stigma of receiving only a meager amount of likes, or worse, none.”
This would, of course, automatically exclude those without Facebook pages, but “people without Facebook are obviously unconcerned with being liked, and thus a certain percentage of the population was ruled out of the calculations from the get-go.”
Next to go on the list? Famous people.
“We really didn’t think it was fair, nor was it conducive to our study to include people who have teams of representatives to help them be liked. Obviously famous people are the most-liked people in the world, but we already know that. We were looking for someone well-liked but not necessarily talented or motivated enough to have become famous.”
Once the study group was whittled down to the ordinary, Facebook-loving masses, the research team broke out their heavy-duty math skills.
“We wanted to take into account the number of Facebook friends and subscribers the person had, because that’s a huge factor in determining whether a person is well-liked or simply tolerated within others’ Facebook spheres. It makes a big difference. We couldn’t just count who had the highest number of likes because that doesn’t reflect what percentage of their friends list actually appreciates what they have to share.”
For example, the average user may have around 300 friends. If that user posts a picture of their new baby that gets 50 likes, that’s about a 17% like rating. But if a more popular person with 1,000 friends shares a status that they just got accepted to law school and it only gets 100 likes, that’s a 10% like rating. Thus, the baby picture is technically more well-liked.
However, here’s where it gets sticky: if a person with 600 friends gets 100 likes on a picture of their Olive Garden dinner, their like rating would also be about 17%. So who wins?
“The Olive Garden picture would be deemed the winner in that scenario. Our complex algorithm was designed to compare like ratings against total friend count. We were basically looking for the person with the most dedicated friends.”
And they found her: 17-year-old Ashley Miller of Los Angeles, California. Ashley, about to graduate high school, has the maximum 5,000 Facebook friends plus an additional 479,000 subscribers. Her like rating for her postings of inspirational picture-quotes, memes, and bikini selfies is a whopping 82%.
Ashley was congratulated via Skype by President Obama, who was curious as to her methods, saying “It’s quite an honor to have accrued so many thumbs-ups from the nation, Ashley. I wish my approval rating was that high. So my question is, how do you do it?”
“I dunno, I guess people just can’t help themselves,” Ashley replied before flashing a smile and the peace sign.
Scientists back at the lab are preparing to repeat their research from the beginning since current results remain inconclusive.