I’m struggling with the “like” button on Facebook these days. You see, I pride myself on being an honest person. I like to speak my mind and call things as I see them. But “like” has come to mean many things on Facebook. When I “like” your post, does it mean I like the picture? I like the sentiment of the words? I’m too lazy to comment? Sometimes the picture and the words are not complimentary, or I like one but not the other. What do I do?
Sometimes I find myself liking people’s comments so that they don’t get offended because I liked someone else’s comment on my post. And then I have to “like” all the comments so that nobody gets offended. Sometimes my “like” means “I’ve read your comment and I’m no longer going to participate in the conversation”. Sometimes my “like” is more of a “Shut up, ok, I’ve heard you”.
I’ve seen people “like” someone’s status when it’s a death announcement. Seriously!?
I’d like to propose we return to basics. Let’s only “like” the things we actually like, and let’s stop liking things we don’t actually like. That way, everyone will understand what we mean by pushing the “like” button.
I think the “like” button has made us lazy. It means we don’t have to actually interact with anyone. It means we can simply show our approval at the click of a button and never have to exchange words. At it’s worst, I think it means we flip through other people’s lives, think we are interacting with them because we have “liked” their posts, when we haven’t even read what they have to say properly or thought about those people. This is a half-lived life. I think we need to rethink it.
Let’s stop being lazy. Let’s bring words back! Let’s express that we think someone’s picture is beautiful, or that their words are funny. Let’s state the sadness we feel when someone tells us of their heartache, or they share news that is particularly heavy. Let’s express our distaste (respectfully, of course) for what we don’t like and stand up for what we believe in. Let’s like what we really like. Let’s, like, get real. Let’s boycott the “like” button altogether!