Like it?


Out and about / Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Confession: I rather like facebook.

After careful study I’m happy to announce that it’s not the next Babylon; mostly it’s a quiet place where people talk about the weather and their health. I could dispense with some of it. (And I do. Shh.) But I like seeing pictures of faraway people I love, I like meeting up with old friends, I like hearing what the community is up to. I like quite a bit.

The part I understand the least about it, quite frankly, is that {like} thing. I’ve been back on facebook for eight months now and I still can’t figure it out. As with all polite phrases—“How are you?” and “Where is the bathroom?”—people use it with such varying levels of meaning and non-meaning. And urgency.

Shari Zook likes your photo. Joe Shmoe likes your post. James Smith likes what you said to someone else, though he can’t explain what he was doing on her timeline. Matilda Bluebottle likes something you said back in the 1900’s, and she wants you to know it.

Sometimes it simply means I was here.

Sometimes it means I read your comment. Got the info. Thank you!

Sometimes it means This interchange is over. I don’t have anything else to add to our mutually enlightening conversation, so—{like}—Bye-bye.

Sometimes it means I agree with you. Ya took the words right out of my mouth. I would’ve said it myself if you hadn’t been so doggone fast about it.

Sometimes it means I don’t like what you said, but if I don’t {like} it you’ll know I don’t like it, so—{like}.

And sometimes, surprisingly, it means I like what you said. It brought me joy. Made me laugh. Brightened my day. Encouraged my heart.

I {like} stuff as often as anybody, so no complaints there. I’m just learning the language. And noticing the conspicuous absence of a {don’t like} option. You really couldn’t have it, could you? It would be devastating. Shari Zook’s photo album has 3 {likes} and 5 {dislikes}. Yes, two options (black and white) would definitely be old-school and narrow-minded…

I wonder how we thought we could escape narrow-mindedness by reducing the options to one (white)? I wonder if in some future day we will look back on our brief obsession with social media and puzzle over what kind of society could’ve crammed all of life’s emotions and responses into such a small box.

?

Oh well. As long as we all {like} it together.

*****

How do you use your {like} button?
What do you NOT {like}, on purpose?

Watch this facebook philanthropist for a frown and a laugh.

15 Replies to “Like it?”

    1. I clicked on it five times.

      “‘You should try it sometime” laughed the Cat in the Hat [eating cake in the tub, as I recall]… ‘It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.'”

      I can see your hackles rising from 600 miles away.

  1. The thing I find amusing is when people “like” posts that include funeral arrangements and visitation hrs, etc. Really? You like that that person died? You like that your friend is grieving? Just find it amusing…..
    I use “like” when I actually like a post. But I find your definitions of “like” helpful..

  2. I’ve been wrestling with the same issues on facebook. i recently joined, but feel a bit lost at sea there. I’m still working on the jargon and protocol and heartily wish as well that there were a few other buttons instead of only “like”. Such as “dislike” , “ireadthisbuthavenoreaction” and “ican’tbelieveyoujustpostedthat”. It’s a neat hangout spot, but not cozy like my blog 🙂 And I’m another studio c addict!

  3. Precisely why I can’t stand facebook—we are reduced to cavemen whose most intelligent response to anything is LIKE. Well, maybe LOL too. I do not {like} that we are losing our ability to use our language creatively.

  4. I’m with you, Shari, I enjoy it. Not every day, but most days. And you sure hit the nail on the head with the “Like” button and its multiple meanings, and like the comment above about the funeral arrangements, SO true! I like keeping in touch with friends who aren’t near, and sharing fun stuff.
    We all contemplate leaving from time to time, but for the most part it’s nice having a fun support system. My sister isn’t on it and she complains about it, and I just don’t get that. If you don’t want to be on it, no biggie, but I don’t understand being critical of what other people enjoy.
    I love new recipes and hearing dinner plans and my friend doesn’t like that – she’s like, ‘Why do I care what people are having for dinner?’ That cracks me up – because I want new ideas! I say as long as you “Like” it, stay, and when it’s not fun, take a break or find something else for a while. I’m glad we’re friends!

  5. I don’t think that I have ever hit the ‘like’ button…I’ve never quite understood it and couldn’t figure out when to use it and when not so I just pretend it’s not there. Isn’t that the best thing to do with things you don’t understand?…

  6. I am so glad that another of our far away family members has recently joined the FB family!! I have gotten to see some grand children that I haven’t seen for a long time! And I liked lots of the pictures she posted! And I probably overuse my like button! It has reconnected us with High school friends and given us opportunities to pray for people that I don’t know, but am made aware of a tragedy that they are facing…what a great prayer chain, connecting hundreds of people that can unite in prayer! Sorry to mess up your great post with a run-on sentence, Shari.

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