Grandpa Rob @rslade ,
This topic is the very core of why Jaron Lanier wrote his book Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.
Likes and badges and kudos are all about Skinner's operant conditioning. Lanier explains that contention quite well.
Everyone in this community really should read the book, but if you feel too time limited to do so, definitely watch Lanier's Book TV presentation which takes only 90 minutes, or if even that is too hard, go for his 21 minute YouTube video, Jaron Lanier interview on how social media ruins your life.
You could also read Smithsonian's article, What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?
Actually, Lanier is an amazing intellectual thinker totally embedded in modern technology, and I recommend reading all of his books. He is a true Renaissance Man, one of the very few qho I believe deserve the designation of a polymath.
Oh, and if you were unaware of him, and saw him approaching you on a sidewalk, you'd likely cross to the other side of the street. Looks can be SO deceiving.
(And yes, I deleted my Twitter account after reading the book.)