I’m trying very hard not to like things. Of course I’m not talking about the biscuit dunking, coffee, wine, beer and sausages kind of liking. Nor am I talking about my Downton Abbey, Archers, KC and the Sunshine Band, sitting in the last of the evening sunshine liking. I’m talking about Facebook liking, that little ‘thumbs up’ that seems to give approval without ever saying anything at all.
Facebook likes. It’s so easy for it to become a habit and a meaningless habit at that. I’ve found myself liking when liking is quite inappropriate. In the real world if somebody told me that they’d just split up with there husband I wouldn’t raise my thumb and declare ‘I like that’. I’d probably say something vaguely supportive instead. Similarly as a cat lover I would never like a friend’s cat being run over. But I must have done this two or three times in Facebook land – poor pussies.
It seems that like means something other than like in the world of social media, just what though is hard to define and that’s why I’m trying pretty hard not to like things. Mind you liking is far easier to like than disagreeing, or worse still agreeing but then being too lazy to respond at all.
And what about those likes which are there not because we actually like what we are seeing or reading, but simply as acknowledgement that we have seen it for somebody who might expect us to like what they have posted. I’m sure we all do it. I call this ‘the obligatory like’. Pictures of children and pets are great examples of this rather worrisome habit. Do I really want to see the same sleeping baby night after night - well if I did I’d get one of my own from the baby shop.
Yes, rather than simply hitting the like button when I see something that I want to respond to I’ve decided that I will try to comment instead. Of course there will be those that simply hate this, and to be honest I’m a little wary of it myself as I quite often, despite my best efforts, seem to say the wrong thing and, as honesty is a good policy, it becomes even more difficult… ‘Actually I’m not really interested in looking at a picture of your low calorie dinner. It looks like a pile of dog excrement.’
Not only this, but there’s my humour to contend with too (see above re: dog’s do).
Sometimes it’s as if a little devil gets inside me prompting me to comment on those religious posts that sometimes pop up and say something witty about the crucifixion. Something like: ‘That really makes me cross’ or ‘You’ve nailed that’. Worse still are the ‘share this if you love your niece/daughter/dad/dog/tapeworm’ nonsense that some people find so necessary. Of course I would take the tapeworm option every time just to keep it in the family
Back in gladiatorial days the thumbs up meant ‘life’ and the thumbs down ‘death’. Thinking about it maybe that’s why Facebook invented the like button in the first place and why they omitted to give us a dislike button. Better to dumb us all down with a ‘thumbs up’ card than to have to referee a whole bunch of thumbs down fights to the death.
Oh well, I’ll give ‘comment only’ a try and see how it goes. Failing that it may have to be silence.