The other day my seventeen year old daughter said to me that a friend of hers who had posted a video on youtube said to her.
‘Why didn’t you LIKE my video?”
My daughter replied…
“I TOLD you I liked it. Why do I have to press the like button?”
What IS it with this frantic collecting of LIKES these days?
It’s as though they’re coupons with some sort of prize attached.
A popularity contest of who can gather the most LIKES.
They have become so much a part of our online world and I just have to wonder at what this all really means as far as connecting people, communication, and the value of online “relationships”.
Is the LIKE button another sign of societies “disconnect” or is it simply an innocent, helpful little icon?
What would happen if for one whole day everyone stopped pressing the “LIKE” button…here on wordpress, on facebook, youtube, soundcloud, community forums, or wherever a LIKE button exists?
Instead, what if people actually typed what was in their heads…the thing, the feeling, the thought, the reaction to something that someone has written, or photographed, sung or played, CREATED, often a complete stranger…someone you may never have come in physical contact with, not in a million years – strangers with lives so far away, so different, (yet often so much the same), were it not for the Internet.
All these things – reactions to what we see and hear, coming from our hearts and minds (and souls) which steers, with oh such rampant regularity, that little finger of ours right over there to that innocuous button in the corner that simply BEGS to be pressed.
“Press me, press me….for I am the magic button that eases all the worries in the world, makes friends, gives acknowledgment, praise, encouragement. The button that says YES, I agree with you, or YES, I feel equally as outraged, or YES, I understand you, YES I will do that or YES I can relate to you, find that touching, enjoyable, funny, profound, sad, beautiful, exciting, amazing…. For I am the amazing superhero button – can’t you see my cape? – that says so many things, connects so many people, expresses so many deep and meaningful inner most thoughts and emotions just with four little letters….. “
What if….. by actually typing “something” rather than “Liking” something, you actually said something – deeper….Expressed something a little MORE. Connected – a little more?
Do you WANT that?
What is it people want?
It can’t be that you’re too busy to write something, are not eloquent, can’t think of what to say….even one word would suffice. “Great!”…” Funny!”….”Terrible”…..
I mean, one word says so much more than just a watered down “like”, doesn’t it???
Oh….PLEASE don’t think that here, on my blog, or anywhere else, that I am criticizing anyone for using the LIKE button.
I AM THE SAME!
I have become conditioned to press that little button, again and again and again!
Why do I do it?
I do it because I FEEL something, and I want to acknowledge something, but perhaps, if I’m truthful, I am just lazy because I know, I can’t help but ramble.
If I rambled a reply to everyone, my God, I’d be here at this screen all day.
Oh….I am just filled with this feeling of disillusionment right now.
Of how the world has become….is becoming.
Phones glued to people’s heads….glued in their hands.
Screens, screens and more screens.
The more I look around the more the word “Zombies” keeps popping into my head.
Technology…..social media…the world becoming a smaller place? – people connecting from all over the world? (Are we really?)
There is this sense of, guardedness in this new domain of “online”…That’s not the word I’m looking for, exactly.
I’m not sure what I’m trying to say.
We’re coming together yet we’re coming apart.
The fabric of society, of community, of relationships, of RELATING to one another is changing, has changed.
These screens provide convenient distancing.
We’re all elusive strangers dancing in the shadows furtively pressing like buttons.
I don’t mean to make you feel guilty, or have a conundrum over pressing the like buttons of life.
It’s perfectly OK, if you do, I do, we do…. I think they have a place.
But just as it’s probably ok to occasionally have a meal at Macdonalds, it’s not really conducive to overall health to eat it every day. Maybe that’s a bad analogy, but it came to mind….(you KNOW I am a rambler.)
I just want to make you think, as I have been thinking too.
Really, that’s all.
Each time I see that LIKE button, I’m thinking – “What if it just didn’t exist? Would I be saying nothing, or would I be saying SOMETHING?”
Do I really want to reach out to that person, or not?
If I said “something”, would it change anything – for me, or them?
Would it be more or less appreciated than a simple “LIKE”?
Why don’t you try it, for a day, if you’re inclined.
Veto the like button.
See what happens?
Maybe just one thing someone says, or you say, could change something?