Believe me: I hate nothing more than admitting my parents might be right. Don’t major in Mesopotamian literature, Graham. Don’t try to fix that outlet without calling an electrician, Graham. Don’t drive yourself to the hospital, Graham.

I’ve heard it all before. Their bad advice has followed me like the burn from a self-induced electroshock. So it’s only with the greatest reluctance that I even entertain their refrain and ask: Are we a generation of narcissists?

If you read the news, you’d know what the world thinks about us millennials: fatally self-centered, monstrously ungrateful and dangerously coddled.

Now it’s possible the critics are wrong. But I have to wonder: If we aren’t the most narcissistic generation, then why hasn’t anyone liked my newest photo on Instagram?

It’s a simple question. Either we truly are a generation that looks out for one another’s digital welfare or we’re not. And, I have to ask: What kind of a friend would leave another hanging out to dry like this, over seven full minutes after uploading the seventh photo in today’s 11-photo series of my dog, Septimus?

Now I’m not saying we’re all unhinged egotists hell-bent on denying others their due social capital. But surely some of my followers seem to think this whole social media game is only about them. It’s like they don’t even get the point of this: to appreciate my content as frequently and publicly as possible.

So please, fellow millennials, heed my plea before it’s too late: Hold dear onto what we had.

Don’t you remember how it once was? Don’t you remember the old days when a man could expect 30 of his closest acquaintances to instinctively double tap a glass screen for nothing in return? Don’t you remember when my Instagram regularly collected over 20 likes per upload? Have you forgotten? Or do you remember, perfectly, with spreadsheets logging names and exact response times, like I do?

Maybe I’m too late. Maybe the social network truly is dead, and we’re doomed to live a virtual reality in which every person thinks they’re entitled to clout they haven’t earned. Maybe the writing is on the wall. (Not that you’ve ever been to my wall, of course, or even liked my profile picture, Jeff.)

Or, maybe we still have time before this totally underrated photo of Septimus sinks to the bottom of the news feed, and our humble little existence floats off, forgotten, into the cloud.

I’d like to think there’s still hope. But only if you go forth, friends, and pay it forward — by tossing this little frame a like and taking a stand, once and for all, to affirm the loyalties that bond us together. Our generation, our society, our very way of life depends on it.

Plus, I’ll unfollow you fast as fucking lightning if you don’t.