This introvert has never been a social butterfly, so it comes as no surprise to me that after five years or so on social media, I’ve still not gotten into what I’d call a comfortable rhythm with it. I haven’t tons of advice for other folks about what to do with it either, but there’s one thing I’ve more or less advised myself about, where social media and cyberspace are concerned: “Likes.”
I like to watch football, and, indeed, football is a sport that I’ve watched. I like to wear lipstick, and, indeed, lipstick is a beauty product that I’ve worn. I like to eat fruity cereals, and, indeed, fruity cereals are breakfast foods (or lunch, dinner, snack foods–it’s all relative) that I’ve eaten.
When I click the “Like” button under someone’s Facebook status or photo, it’s because I genuinely like it. When I click the “Like” button under someone’s blog post, it’s because 1) I read the post, and 2) I like what I read.
I know that many folks around cyberspace have adopted the “Like for Like” practice (you know, “Like” my Facebook page, and I’ll “Like” yours.) I’ve handed out a few such requested “Likes” before because I didn’t want to seem stuck up or selfish, but I soon quit that practice, as it wouldn’t be good for me to go around saying I “Like” a particular author if I’ve not read any of his/her books and have no real intention to, or whatever the case may be. If an author or artist on social media is announcing an accomplishment and I’m happy for said author or artist, I’ll “Like” the announcement. But when someone is making an announcement with the clear desire for others to click to read his article or click to go to her product page to purchase her product, and I know I’m not really going to read the article or buy anything–that is, if I don’t have a genuine interest in what the person is sharing or what he/she wants–I skip “Liking” the post, even if it’s apparently there for a good reason.
I don’t skip “Liking” to be rude or to withhold support. I mean, much of the time, “Likes” are cheap. It takes more than clicking a button to truly support a person or an effort, and I don’t want to make as if “I like this and I support you!” if I don’t really. Besides, when it comes to artists and such, my guess is that having a lot of “Likes” for their products without corresponding sales wouldn’t make the artists feel too great. (Is that one reason why I never set up a FB page to go with my FB profile, to avoid “Likes” that don’t mean much?) Oftentimes, receiving lip service from others ultimately stings worse than being ignored.
Yet, I know that people “Like” things for different reasons, and this is in no way meant to discourage you from “Liking” any of my stuff if there’s something you like about it. 😀 Just know that if I’ve “Liked” your status, your photo, your bio, your blog post, or whatever it is, I’m not just clicking a button to be polite or to get you to “Like” something of mine. I do like what I “Like”!