Don’t ‘assume’ that you know why I like you.

The infamous ‘like’ button.

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We see it on facebook, WordPress, Instagram, Stumble Upon and list goes on.

People ‘like’ to keep track, tally and constantly compare one another’s stats and above all ‘likes’.

I’ve noticed the trend and it’s made me quite curious so I’ve decided to explore the concept of liking in a little more depth.

What is the criteria that you use to determine when you will give a like?  Is it a conscious thought process or do you just like away?  Have you ever really sat down and thought about why you choose to like something, especially something like a facebook page that will be in your day-to-day news feed stream?

I was reading a post on facebook from a friend’s page recently and although I may not have agreed with the entire subject matter (his belief) I liked the presentation, the underlying message (the moral ideas and wholesome choices) and the thought and style involved in the writing so I gave the post a like.  The post was on the topic of faith and what faith was to him.  For example: Faith is………  followed by Faith is…….  There was a lot of depth and thought put into each response.

Do you think that my like would symbolize that I believe the same basic idea of faith as he does? If so why does standing in agreement have to mean that you believe or ‘be’ the same thing?  I support all faiths, cultures and lifestyles given that they are peaceful in nature…. As an example I support equality for all people like the right to be gay and live a peaceful, equal life but I am not gay.

When I am determining whether I will issue a ‘like’ I base it on many things from writings style, flare, concept, humor, interest, principle, value, ethics, content, depth of thought etc.

Why do you like posts, blogs, photos?

Do you like other people’s work and pages just to get likes on your own page, blog, photo etc. or to grow your readership?  For the people that do is this ok?  Is this not the very definition of ‘social media’ and gaining exposure?

Hmmmm….

Comments, thoughts, let’s discuss…?

P.S I DO like you!

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134 comments

  1. toemailer

    Wow, I really “like” all the comments here. It’s a quick sort of non comittal way of approving something or even just letting someone know you have seen their post. Works for us 🙂

  2. finn

    Good post! I hit the like button on here , if I like what I read ,whether its the content or the style or if I can relate to what’s been written. I don’t get bogged down on tracking my stats , or how many likes or not I receive. What baffles me more is those who follow you without either liking or making a comment , now that’s really strange. :S

  3. bamauthor

    For me it means that I deem something worthy of reading and that I appreciate the one who shared it taking the time to post it. It does not necessarily mean that I agree with its contents.

  4. reneedeangelo

    If I “like” something, it means I enjoyed reading it for a variety of reasons. It usually has more to do with the content than the writing style, but that’s not a hard and fast rule for me. You bring up some interesting points. Nice post.

  5. alla

    These are great questions. I personally only give “like” to something when it resonates. And if I really love something I also write a comment. When it comes to growing my readership, I think that people who will like my stuff will find me. If I wasn’t honest with my “likes” I don’t think that I would get more readers that honestly like my work. 🙂

  6. jeaninerenzoni

    I have pondered the ‘why I like something and what the person who wrote it or photographed it will think.’ Sometimes my criteria is easy, sometimes I’m a Grinch, sometimes it’s the concept or beauty of presentation or that I’ve read several of their things without giving any response and I feel like I should be gracious because I did like it or I would have stopped reading or just skipped it. But I think effort should get a response and often I don’t really have a comment or I feel like I don’t have the time to craft a comment, so I offer a like. But sometimes when I’m doing a reading blitz I feel like I’ve liked a bunch of one author’s things and so even when the next item merits a like I don’t hit the button. Or if something has lots of likes I have to really like it to add mine. Ah well, it’s a variable scale with inconsistent criteria which confounds measurement.

  7. Michael Summers

    I “like” when I appreciate style of an entry, the spirit of the writer, or when I agree with the sentiments contained therein. I do not have to agree to like, but I will comment more frequently to explain that while I like, I do not agree for reasons which I then disclose.

  8. Just a Girl

    Hmm interesting and true. I like that you’ve given this such in-depth analysis and thought 😉 It’s true though, Facebook has completely rewritten our moral dictionary…friends that are not friends, status that is actually an update, likes that are not loves, and everyone’s life story.

  9. Jim Bradrick

    Why I ‘like’. I ‘like’ a post when I find the content appealing however for whatever reason I do not want to write a comment. There are cases, such as now, when I do both but most of the time it’s either like it, comment on it or leave it alone and simply move on.

  10. 52kuppajo

    I agree. I think “Like” in this day and age is a tacit approval, like a head nod to someone in a crowd. I also think the “Like-ing” has become so overused. Now, in Facebook we have a voting pattern of ‘Like’ vs ‘Share’. Huh? So, in my opinion, like has been worn down in Social Media. Too bad, because it diminishes the real meaning of liking something. I’m just glad there’s no ‘Love’ button on Social Media (yet).

  11. gynocrat

    I’ve learned to consider the “like”, as the ultimate 21st century salutation. You “like” posts or pics because – they liked something you posted so you reciprocate; they shared a picture or wrote something that made you smile; they did something you like but you don’t feel like carrying out a conversation about it, etc. “Like” is the internet way to engage a passer-by with a smile, a nod, a hug, a ‘good to see you again’, form of interaction that only takes place, in social media.

  12. MamaMickTerry

    What a great post! I’m actually very judicious on what I “like” in the social media space. Not because I’m stingy, but because I want it to mean something for the person on the other end. If I hit “like” it’s because I really do. On WP, it’s because I appreciate the talent, the thought and the feelings it invokes within me. A like often means that I wish I could write like that, or WOW…I totally get what you are talking about. And, most of my “likes” are accompanied with a comment.
    If it’s on FB, it’s because it struck a chord or it’s a picture of someone I love. Bottom line, I like items way more on WP than I do on FB…
    Thanks for posting–this was a really cool read!

  13. Michelle

    The true sign that I actually LIKE something, versus acknowledging it, is that I leave a comment. Sometimes, I will “like” photos or comments to let the person know I saw it, thought it was clever or agreed with it. But, unless I leave a note, it’s not a “statement of support” or opportunity to recruit me for something. In fact, I typically “like” a comment/photo/status, then promptly click on “I don’t want to see this” because I am not interested in other’s comments and/or likes.

  14. kingmidget

    I never like somebody else’s page, post, or whatever simply to attract them to mine so I get more likes. That’s creepy and I can tell there are people who like anything and everything. And that’s just as creepy. As to why I “like” other people’s posts — it just depends on all sorts of different things, but at the end of the day, did you write something that made me stop and think, or did you write something that was heartfelt and meaningful, or post a picture or poem or short story that made my world stop while I admired it.

  15. J.G. Chayko

    I like things that I am connected to or pages that are similar to my own interests. I don’t “randomly like” – if I’ve liked you, it’s because you’ve written or posted something that interests me. It’s simple.

  16. clisawork

    Sometimes it seems as if the likes and comments on certain posts are zombie fans – sorry no disrespect to you. You cultivate relationships with people. Different than people who gush over every little thing. Seeing the same comments again and again = “that was so what I needed to hear to day” ect. I guess this isn’t really the forum for me. I don’t really want pandering or drips and drabs – I was looking for honest and robust content and meaningful conversation but people on wordpress don’t seem seem interested in that – rather hear about how nice their haiku is, or how beautiful their flower pic is. I’m glad this makes some people happy and provides them with an outlet, but alot of it seems very superficial. I appreciate you content, and I have appreciated your honesty and thoughtfullness which is why I follow you. I appreciate the way you treat the people who comment on your site and I have learned alot just by reading your comments section. Thank you.

  17. Rebecca Meyer

    Interesting topic! I “like” posts that I mostly agree with and enjoyed reading. I don’t “like” too often, so I guess I think it through before I “like” a post on Facebook, WordPress, and other media sites. It’s interesting that we all compare how many “likes” we get. Some people feel better about their blog or even themselves because they feel more “popular” when they have a lot of “likes” on their blog posts or Facebook statuses.

  18. Michele D'Acosta

    Great post. You always make me stop and think and, best of all, I like that! This is usually my criterion for ‘liking’ something. Like doesn’t mean I agree with you 100% but I respect your point of view and like your approach. Btw, it’s good to be on WordPress. Another thing I like 🙂

  19. marcus

    Like means an appreciation for the authors share.
    A comment, well is what it is and hopefully made with respect.
    A howl ((awhoooo)) means awesome
    HATFM (howling at the fucking moon) means you blew me away.

    Just my thoughts

  20. Vashti Quiroz-Vega

    Hello Jennifer! When someone “Likes” my blog post I simply take that to mean that the person has enjoyed the post. Period. I don’t read anything more into it. As far as Facebook “Likes”–I won’t “Like” your page unless I find it interesting in some way, and I don’t expect people to “Like” my author or book pages unless they’ve enjoyed it. I do invite people to check out my pages, but there’s absolutely no obligation to click “Like” even if I had “Liked” yours. It’s the same with my blog. If you read my post and enjoyed it a “Like” and/or comment would be appreciated, but completely optional. 😀

  21. Y. Prior

    very nice post – and I think some “likes” are just a nice way of saying hello- at least for some smaller scale blogs where the folks that like can still be acknowledged – and so I think as “likes” reach the thousands – or become facebook perks – it loses meaning and quality. For example, I am not on Facebook by choice, but a while ago I asked my husband (who only has fb so he can touch base with his daughter – so he only has 3 friends) well I had him go in and “friend” someone from a school group because she needed so many hundred “likes” for a corporate perk – and that is where I think it is off.

    but I liked your point on all this – 🙂

  22. shesathinker

    I love this post. At one point I had to take stock in my own Facebook “like” behavior. Sometimes I would just like a status or photo just because no one else did and I would feel bad for the person. I had to stop myself from “liking” things I don’t really like. Ha, seems so silly but is part of the age we live in. Great post!

  23. Vonna

    I think to a degree whether it;s to acquire more likes or because you believe in what is being said or even the way it’s being presented we all have a form of criteria in which we willingly push that button. For me I think about how what I like represents who I am as a person. My values, my beliefs, and how I wish others to view me. For instance, expletives (curse words) I do not use so I would not like a status, picture, or the like that includes them.

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