The Culture Of The “Like”

I’m always behind the times.  When everyone else was using AOL Instant Messenger, I was still enamored with ICQ.  I was late to the party on MySpace, and even more so on Facebook.  I’ve still not jumped into the deep end with Twitter, and I’m sure all the cool kids are using something else by now that I haven’t even heard about yet.  Social media is a fascinating animal to me, but I have trouble understanding all the protocols.

I’ve been on Facebook for years, and have “Liked” thousands of posts, photos, shares, etc. The other day, I posted a link to my newest blog entry on my Facebook page (practically an audible cry for attention, of course), and a nanosecond later, one of my friends “Liked” it.  Odd.  Obviously this person had no time to read my blog; I’m not even sure there was enough time to read the short sentence that accompanied the link I posted.  Did someone click “Like” on accident?  Was he just trying to be nice?  Had he read my prior blogs and assumed he would like my new one?

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that people click “Like” on Facebook posts for a number of reasons.  When I’m in a hurry, I catch myself mindlessly clicking “Like” on pictures and quick little posts just to let people know I notice them.  Whenever the post in question is a long one, or a link to a story, I don’t click the “Like” unless I truly dig what they’re saying.  I’m not always in agreement with the opinions of others, and either way, I will usually take the time to reply to a post that intrigues me.

These Ones Really Grab My Attention…

Social media has many purposes.  Some use it to keep up with friends, some to “creep” on people they want to keep tabs on, some like to entertain others with funny or witty quips.  I use mine for a number of things as well, especially as a venue to rant or otherwise speak to what I think are worthy issues for debate or consideration.  The latter is probably not best served on social media, but it could be.  Where else do you have access to the attention of others, with the potential for rabid sharing and discussion?


Ohhhh…. right….

I wish my news feed was color-coded. One color could mean “Lighthearted observation” while another could alert us to “Funny meme”.  Within memes, there could be colors for “Insensitive”, “Political”, “Religious”, etc.  Most intriguing for me would be a color code designated for “Serious Philosophical Topics”.  It would make it easier for people to see what is most relevant to them.  At the very least, I wish there existed more than simply a “Like” button.  Perhaps buttons that say “Seems Interesting, Please Remind Me To Read Later”, or “Please Don’t Show Me Posts Like This In The Future”, or “Didn’t Read, But Thanks For Trying!”

By and large, most people on social media like to know that other people care what they think, or at least that they’re paying attention.  I think sometimes the “Like” just doesn’t have a scope broad enough for what has become more than just an outlet for telling folks what you’re up to right this second.  That’s what Twitter is for, right?  Or am I behind again?

-J

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~ by hamiltonjacobs on January 7, 2014.

One Response to “The Culture Of The “Like””

  1. I love your analogies. Really helps me think about things I would not have before and/or gives me insight. If you figure out the purpose and reason for twitter rather than facebook, let me know. I still don’t get it either. Seems to me that twitter is more to make a statement without wanting an answer, but I am not sure?????

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