I don’t know that I have all of my own thoughts and feelings sorted out on this particular topic as I see this discussion as being something of a proxy for the larger debate about how we as a society (and perhaps even a species) fit in with the rapid advances in information technology that we have seen in the last twenty years or so. But sorted or not, here are a couple of my own thoughts…
When I hit the “Like” button on Facebook, it’s generally for one of the following reasons:
1- I agree with what you are saying or I enjoyed whatever you just posted and would like to add my vote of approval to encourage more such thinking/behavior from you. I will also add to my approval by commenting because I liked it just that much and I want to shout it from the mountaintop!
2- I agree with what you are saying or I enjoyed whatever you just posted and would like to add my vote of approval to encourage more such thinking/behavior from you. However I don’t really care enough to want to get too deep into the thread to bother with posting a comment.
3- I agree with what you are saying or I enjoyed whatever you just posted and would like to add my vote of approval to encourage more such thinking/behavior from you. However, I don’t really have any further feedback for you or anything else to add to the discussion apart from “I like it”. Simple as that.
4- I don’t necessarily agree with whatever you just posted, but it does raise a valid point and is worthy of keeping in mind for future discussions (which will likely NOT involve me as this scenario is usually played out on political posts and I try to avoid those polarizing nasty-chats like the plague).
5- I really don’t agree or really care about whatever it is that you just posted, but you hardly ever post anything. Ever. So when you do, I feel some stupid need to encourage you, but I worry that commenting might be overdoing things and I don’t want to frighten you away.
6- I really don’t agree or care about whatever it is that you just posted, but I know you are having a rough go of things right now so I’m going to add my encouragement on occasion, but again, I don’t want to be obvious or overbearing with it.
So thats a list of the common reasons why I, myself, hit the like button. I won’t pretend that its by any means the best or most reasonable way to use a social networking site… but it is how I go about it. For better or for worse.
Having said all of that, I don’t hit that like button all that much - maybe once or twice in a day. When I do use the feature, I want it to retain some measure of meaning, in other words I don’t want to be the guy that “likes” every single post that crops up. Those people annoy me for some reason and I think if C77 were to roll out such a feature, we’d see them show up here as well.
On a tangent from that, it would be interesting to see how many “likes” some of the C77 users get per comment versus others…regardless of the quality of the post itself. I’ve suspected in recent years that there are a few regulars here that have reached a sort of celebrity status and that even the most mundane thing that they post is followed by at least a few fawning comments from the masses. Mind you - I’m not saying it’s right,wrong, or otherwise, its just something I’ve noticed and find interesting from the standpoint of group/social dynamics. But I digress…
One thing that I wonder about is, is the “like” button becoming in and of itself a bit of a binary translator in that anything that gets posted and read is interpreted as either a “non response” (aka “0”) or a “like” (aka “1”) - thus breaking down the collective pile of data that we as a society input into the system into a sort of binary data set of reaction. Just a thought…
So anyway, if you just read through all of that, please accept my sincere apologies.