L is for Likes – yes, the ones on Facebook
Siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews sat around the living room, some on the sofas, some sprawled on the floor. Banter was on, we were meeting after a long time and there was so much catching up to do. In the midst of it all my niece made a seriously funny remark and I immediately said, “Like”. The room erupted in hoots of laughter and raucous leg-pulling. I had become recently active on Facebook and apparently it had had an impact on me. I was red-faced but my niece had a delightful smile on her face.
And therein lay the secret of Facebook. Now, fifteen months after that episode I am a veteran ‘liker’. Quirky status updates, or cute kitten pics, I am ready with my likes. What are my friends thinking? Or even friends’ friends? Interesting thoughts get a like. The more thought-provoking, the better.
I like the updates by my fave authors and poets. I like my friends’ profile pictures and cover pictures. I like my favorite books, movies, songs, bands, motivational speakers, stores, and more. And if you have a page, send me a request. I will like it.
I am guilty, too, of using a like as a substitute for a comment. But what was Mark Z thinking when he added the like button? Did he not think it would be strange for people to like an update which said ‘XYZ is no more’ or ‘There’s been an earthquake in ABC city’?
It then becomes quite apparent that a like can show solidarity with an update or even empathy.
And have you noticed how many times your likes make you an arm-chair activist? Isn’t it so easy to click like for activities that distance does not allow you to physically participate in but the like assuages your guilt for not being more pro-active? And some even boast about how many likes they got.
What about the secret of Facebook that I mentioned in the second paragraph, you ask? All the things that we like on Facebook are harvested by it in order to profile us.
Do you then wonder what your image is, in the eyes of Facebook? And what has been your experience with Facebook likes?