The behavior we exemplify shows what we put first. Are you here for the "social" media first, or for the money first? If we buy STEEM -- or earn STEEM -- and upvote every single one of our own posts and comments, we are trying to reward ourselves without any evaluation of the content, just because it's us. That is blind upvoting. Would you upvote all of someone else's comments? I don't think so... Yet many people are looking at the $money$ and trying to get rewards. That's what's motivating their behavior to self-vote everything. When we vote on other posts and comments, we are saying we value the content and want to reward it in some way as a thank you, to show gratitude or appreciation -- or something like that usually. This motive is not always present, as curation rewards also drive people to focus on money first and simply vote to try to get curation rewards instead of evaluating the content for the content itself. Of course we like what we post/comment and want to get appreciated and even rewarded for it. But if your voting for yourself, then it's not someone who is actually appreciating and rewarding you, but you're just doing it to yourself. Is there really that much value and appreciation for simply voting and rewarding ourselves? Or does the value and appreciation for our posts/comments actually come from others? What would you like a social media platform to be? A place where content is rewarded because it's evaluated and appreciated by others? Or a place where the content doesn't really matter since much of the user-base is motivated by money to reward themselves, not primarily motivated into developing social media content, posts and comments to get rewarded when others deem it. One is where we let others decide what we get for what we do rather than us saying "I want to give myself more money". One thing we need to ask ourselves is if we want to use our power to value, appreciate and reward others more than we want to value, appreciate and reward our own content. Then, to what extent to we apply this? Pay-to-play upvoting ourselves also undermines the purpose of having others actually evaluate our content to determine whether something gets a vote, popularity, visibility and rewards. Buying an upvote to get rewarded is part of the mindset that is undermining the original purpose of social media where people evaluate other content. Just pay to get votes and rewards no matter the content being appreciated by others or not. Money becomes the primary drive for our voting behavior, not the content driving our behavior to appreciate and vote -- or not. On Steemit the evaluations generate upvotes and rewards. When we just upvote and give ourselves rewards, it cheapens the "spirit" of social media and Steemit. People want to self-reward themselves, and others want to be paid for their votes. What happens if we all decide that since others are not giving their votes for free, then neither should any of us, and we all charge to give votes to others? Whether it's everyone or just a few people, the principle of how pay-to-play affects the operation of a platform is the same, it's just less visible when it's still smaller and has fewer effects in the short-term. Money changes everything. Improper behavior is often not seen by many until long-term effects set in. If we want to make Steemit a place where the content reward distribution is based on people evaluating the content of others, then we need to stop putting short-term personal money-gains first in our behavior on the platform. I didn't used to vote on my own comments, and I didn't start to after HF19. I used to auto-vote my own posts, but stopped doing that before HF19 was released. I'm glad I did. I don't get as many rewards, but my votes go to others, not to myself. I invite others to change their behavior as required, and only upvote others. ![upvoted.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmVEFkHPekDPEpZpgsccmcD8cJAAimCMzSPKgnkXN3pGS1/upvoted.jpg) We can each set a better example of what Steemit can be. You don't get paid to change your voting behavior ;), but you get to know that you are working for the long-term benefit of the platform as an honest evaluation of content, like social media should be (at least in my understanding the social media should drive money, not the money driving the social media). I think that's better, not to make this a place where money drives us to vote for ourselves to get more of the money pie, or pay others to vote for us to get more of the money pie. ---- #### Thank you for your time and attention! I appreciate the knowledge reaching more people. Take care. Peace.