Thinking about this a little… I suppose there is a downside to being aware of this kind of stuff, you might be inclined to farm those likes with pandering to the user base but I think the upside is just a different version of that process.
Really it’s a feedback mechanism that lets you know how well your ideas are going down with the people here. And I trust the users here to not steer me wrong, so I see it more as a positive criticism system.
There is always the gif bank for gleaning likes with funny stuff but for the most part, I think my invective has cooled and my ability to stay conscientious and not fly off the handle, to remain in control and (mostly) say what I mean is bolstered by that feedback mechanism, next to the direct feedback one receives through replies and quotes.
On the whole, paying attention to what the community likes in what you say is probably good for, at the very least, how you say it and perhaps at the most, what you actually think and say.