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

The infamous ‘like’ button.

Image

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!

134 comments

  1. Jade Reyner

    Hi! Great post. I ‘like’ when I ‘like’ – simple as that. I read many posts but I only hit the like button when I enjoyed it or found it to be beneficial whether that be morally, socially, educationally or professionally. Otherwise it kind of seems pointless and then the figures that people are basing their stats on, are false. That’s what I think anyway! Hope all okay with you? 🙂

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Hi Jade!
      Great points! Thank you for sharing.
      How are you? How has your summer been? How has the book been selling?
      All is excellent with me. I have been very occupied with summer, children, work and family. I will be back consistently in September.
      Jennifer

      • Jade Reyner

        All good here thanks – just got back from a two week holiday in France which was fab. Trying to juggle holiday’s and children etc… and wishing the weather was warmer in the UK! Glad to hear all well your end and looking forward to us both being back more frequently soon! Lol.

      • jz201

        I also “like” a post for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s the subject matter, sometimes it’s the way it’s presented. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I share the same belief system as the writer. Many topics crisscross religions and belief systems. Diversity makes our world go ’round.

    • Diane Pettus

      I have to admit that if I were living by my blog stats, I’d be mopping up the tears! But, like you, I question “likes” – what they actually convey.
      On Facebook, someone sends me a terribly disturbing photo of animal cruelty. My only options are a like hit or a comment, or a combination of both — so I like and then comment, “I like that you have sent me this information. I will try to help.”

  2. busymindthinking

    Hi there. I hope you’re enjoying family time over summer. I don’t always click like, but I do click when I do like. Sometimes, I may offer a comment, but not necessarily click like. I want people to know I have invested the time to review their work and offer an honest opinion. Sometimes, I click like and don’t offer comments; but have still enjoyed the entry…so for me it varies. Often, I simply miss posts due to volume, but offer support when I can – after I’ve had time to read or view the post. Is that as clear as mud – grin? Have a great day.

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      How are you doing? How is your health?
      Yes, my summer has been fantastic and very busy with the family, vacationing, sports, work etc! More than I anticipated.
      It is a challenge to comment on everyone’s posts, time consuming indeed! Thank you for taking the time to do so here!
      Take good care,
      Jennifer

      • busymindthinking

        I am a work in progress my friend. I am almost a month into treatments. A year from now – look out world! Smiles. I am thankful you’ve had time to spend with family, even though it can be busy, grin. Take care also Jennifer. Smiles

  3. Escaping Elegance

    I like you too!

    The like thing confounds me a bit as well. I am a newby to Facebook and hesitant with my “likes” – I think because I’m unsure of what that means in terms of privacy and trackability. I find it easier to “like” blog posts. Perhaps that’s because I’m following some great blogs and I like the writing and/or content. I have, however, “liked” posts where I didn’t agree with the content but I then follow my like up with a comment to share my own views. I really “like” things that make me think, and ask myself questions… or those that make me laugh out loud!

    As a blogger, I think likes are nice but comments are better. 🙂

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      I agree, comments say it all.

      If people want to open up and share and communicate with you then they are really invested and enjoying your writing, photos, thoughts, etc. and I appreciate that!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment!

      Cheers!

      Jennifer

  4. J.G. Chayko

    I keep it simple. If I like something, I say so. It can be the subject, the way it’s written or even the passion of how a piece is presented. There are many reasons for me like something.

  5. Ann "afriendforever54" Friend

    I generally “like” as long as the topic is not controversial. I don’t like arguments and debates. They gain nothing. 😊 As I have gotten older, I can respect people’s right to express themselves, regardless of how I feel about something, because I can usually pass those by. I do try and support the people that I am following for encouragement, it’s like a church service, sometimes the sermon is not for me. 😀 Great post! Thanks 😜

  6. luluchris58

    Hey there. This was a great post.
    As I read it I was having one of those ” Oh my gosh, that’s so true” moments. I like posts for many reasons. The main thing that I look for is the content of a post.
    I feel that liking a post for exposure and returned likes is the norm in social media. I think that it is fine as long as it is a post that you truly can stand by liking. For example, when I see someone new like my post, out of common courtesy I go and check out their pages. I will read and make sure that I find a post that I do like and that I can stand by liking.
    Thank you for this post. I love that you wrote a post that got my brain up and going this morning!

  7. Steve

    I agree with your statement, “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..” I will even check ‘like’ on the WordPress preview page when a blog post I have just read does not have a ‘like’ button. While I like to receive ‘likes’, a comment is far nicer. To find new blogs that will interest me, I do look at the ‘like’ Avatars on posts that I have enjoyed and use them to go to the new blogs. I do not use the tally number of received ‘likes’ as an indicator of readership opinion because many people do not hit the ‘like’ button; particularly when I post poetry, because I use a picture, and people can normally read the piece of poetry on the WordPress preview page without actually coming to the site (also applies to the ‘hit count’ tally).

    Hope you like my comment, because I liked your post and liked commenting on your opinion of ‘like’ 😉

  8. cellarfloor

    Surely everyone is guilty of this. When a ‘like’ is all you get, your only choice is to make a presumption. You either presume the ‘liker’ agrees with your sentiment or you presume that you know why the liker liked it, right?

    It’s a Catch 22, really. It’s certainly obnoxious when someone clicks like and then leaves a comment saying, “I’m liking this because it was funny, not because I agree with you.” But I’m sometimes mystified when the likers are people who I know disagree with a particular post.

    Isn’t it also presumptuous for me to think the poster cares if/why I like something?

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Many people don’t care about likes or many other things for that matter…but there are many people that ‘get their knickers in a knot’ about the whole liking etiquette as well… it’s a ‘hot’ WordPress topic.

      ‘Assumption and presumption’ indeed..

  9. brightonsauce

    I sometimes like when I’ve got to the end…it cheers the little people – writing here in the castle it is important to spread my noblesse. I would feel rather mean otherwise, it is my contribution to society.

    Though Mommy, look out for my absolute favourite (I’m sure there’s others – this wacko guy who posts stuff like ‘gynaecology is rape/ TV turns you mad/ being naked is a sin’ but also ‘why capitalism is immoral.’ He is lucid, and so far out that he has had to disable comments – which is a shame. I have respect for him, maybe he is dangerous, eh…well I liked him once…that’s enough. You, on the other hand, have too many likes – is worrisome certainly 😉

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      One can never have too many likes my friend! But I like to get to the bottom of things and my lovely community of readers and ‘likers’ that share openly with me, show me that real likeable people are reading and enjoying my posts enough to comment, like yourself!
      But indeed, mind your likes!
      Cheers,
      Jennifer
      🙂

  10. Lynne Chesters Nielsen

    I read for “authenticity”in the writer’s voice. If I can “hear” it and “see” it, “feel” it~ I “like” it! The message and how it is delivered~ a connection to the reader. I could care less for stats and I may not agree with the post, it’s the passion I read for. I am selective, though, with my “likes”.

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Hi Lynne!
      I agree! Passion and writing flare is very important to engage the reader.
      I’m happy to hear from you. I haven’t been around much this summer! How has the second half of your summer treated you so far?
      Take care,
      Jennifer

  11. forwantofsomename

    I don’t think people put too much thought into liking stuff online, not the amount you’ve put in in writing this post. when i like something, I’ve just appreciated some parts at least of what I’ve read. I doubt it’s a long thought of process, but rather a quick and rather easy decision. It is, for me, anyway. and I like this post 🙂

  12. tjtherien

    on facebook I am quite reserved with my likes and truth is I don’t spend much time there and would avoid going were it not for underlying core reasons… On wordpress however I am very liberal with the like button… if the person has put the effort into coming up with something of their own I will generally like it because the creative needs to be stimulated in people… I don’t have to even like a piece of writing or a picture if it was created by the blogger, I just like the fact they made the effort… I do try not to wear my critics hat when visiting blogs… sometimes I will offer my opinion…that is when a piece of writing has effected me, or I feel I have something to say on the subject… My favorite pieces on my own blog often don’t receive many likes and my secondary blog in general doesn’t get many likes… but in both those cases readers tend to interact through comments which one comment will mean more to me than 100 likes…

  13. Margaret Frye

    First let me say I like what you wrote about likes, whether I will like other things I don’t know but based on this like I liked your page decided to follow and tweets. What else I like remains to be seen. I like things sometimes because friends say “please, please”, so I look it over and most times say ok unless there’s something that doesn’t sit. I won’t nay-say but won’t like it. I like products and things but then when there’s too much on my newsfeed that occludes what I like, I unlike lots of things then the cycle of likes-life begins again. Unless I close my account, it’ll never end.

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Well said Margaret.
      Thank you for the like, follow and share. I hope that you will find more posts that you also find likeable on my blog!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I like the way you called it the ‘cycle of life likes’!
      Cheers,
      Jennifer

  14. djmatticus

    I “like” posts – when they resonated with me, when I was humbled by the thoughts, when I was impressed with the subject being tackled, when I didn’t know what to leave in the comments but wanted them to know I read it. I guess I probably hit that little button too much. I guess I should have a more consistent method for choosing when to press it and when to skip it. But… it is what it is. 😉

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Definitely is what it is!
      I thought this would get people thinking and make for a great post topic… 2 things I ‘like’ very much, to make people think about their own thoughts, actions and opinions and most definitely to give people an enjoyable read.
      Thanks for commenting and for commenting often. I am glad you are part of my community!
      How have you been? How has your summer treated you so far?
      Cheers,
      Jennifer

      • djmatticus

        Summer cruising along at warp speed – can’t believe it’s already August – can’t believe the little prince is going to be 5 months old in a couple weeks – can’t believe he already has teeth and is figuring out that crawling thing and how much he has grown – can’t believe how much writing I’ve done (been missing some storetries prompts though); oh my, oh my – it’s been a whirlwind.

        And yours? 😀

  15. katmaxwell

    Mostly when something intrigues me. Most of the time Facebook is covered in drama about baby daddys and ex girlfriends so when something comes along that is actually thought provoking or at the very least interesting I like it. I also like funny pictures that make me laugh out loud. Oh and I have a soft spot for cute baby pics.

  16. ksbeth

    i hit ‘like’ when i have honestly enjoyed or agreed with something written or shown. i prefer to offer comments, though as time is somewhat limited i can’t always do that and use the ‘like’ to at least let the writer know i’ve read their offering.

  17. Leo

    For me there are only 2 concepts in life : boring, and funny. I find mostly of posts fun, there is great talent here, in WordPress. So, this is why I like posts, because I can read them to the the end. I try to avoid large posts, I just have no patience for too much words, I think that important things can be said in just a few words. By the way, I not so much like posts on Facebook, even when all the people I personally know are there. I prefer WordPress.

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Yes, I tend to like more things on WordPress as well.
      I agree with you about the long posts and ‘long winded posts’. I tend to pass over rather long posts as I find my attention wanders.
      Cheers and thanks for the comment Leo.
      Take good care.
      Jennifer

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      LOL
      I had some one comment asking for a love button and I was waiting for someone to suggest a dislike button. I suppose there is something for everyone out there right? If we don’t like we don”t have to read but when I see hateful topics, I have to hold back my hands to not share my ‘intense debate loving side’!
      Freedom of speech is definitely a topic in itself.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Lucas.
      I hope to hear more from you,
      Jennifer

  18. chrisnelson61

    Good, thoughtful post. A ‘like’ is a like, but is also specific to the piece of writing. I think that the mistake that is made is the assumption/ implication that a ‘like’ applies to everything.
    I rarely comment, and I think that this, perhaps, means more than a simple click on ‘like’.

    • Jennifer Writings of a Mrs

      Comments definitely are more valuable and much easier to determine the significance as the person tends to state their sentiment.
      Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!
      Cheers,
      Jennifer

  19. Ryan

    I echo the sentiment of the very first poster. I hit “like” when I like something. Now, since becoming a father, I seem to “like” pictures of babies and kids and I don´t even know why! 🙂

      • Ryan

        Absolutely. I now see “bad” people as babies that were not very well taken care of. It´s strange but I have gained more empathy and sympathy for people since becoming a father. And stories about abuse and neglect hit a nerve that I never even knew I had before. There are many other little things but those are the big changes I have noticed.

  20. lyndzeerae27

    What a great idea to post about, I love this concept. I have totally wondered the same thing about likes, and even follows on my blog. Although I can’t speak for everyone (obviously) I know that I ‘like’ a post or page when I know that it will be one of those things I read and hours later will still be thinking of it. You know, one of those posts that for some reason or another, just stick with you.

    Sometimes I won’t think twice about a little blurb I read on facebook or wordpress, then for some reason it will start inching back into my mind the next day, and I realize, ‘hey that was really thought provoking and calls for a Like!’

    I’m not to bothered if people just like my posts, just to gain a like on theirs. I usually do take a gander at others blogs who interact with mine, and many of them I have really enjoyed. So it’s a win win I feel!

    In the end, isn’t that why we all blog and share our thoughts on this social media platform? Just to get it out there, gain exposure and try our damndest to relate to others in similar positions?

    Well, at least that’s my thoughts on the topic 🙂
    Great post!!!!

  21. mel

    Good question! Personally, I find receiving a “like” motivation to keep blogging, it’s a boost getting that kudos. In that respect, I have learned that this tick of approval is a great way to acknowledge authors efforts.

  22. Rhubblog Administrator

    Generally speaking, I will give a “Like” on a blog because I have enjoyed the post. I think it is a good way of acknowledging that I appreciate the effort that someone has made in producing something that I have found to be interesting, entertaining, informative, or amusing etc.

    When I receive “Likes” it gives me an idea of what content is more popular. Sometimes I leave comments. When I read a post that is deep, profound or emotional, I am not always able to find the right words to convey my feelings adequately. As a result I will just click “Like”.

    I do not have sufficient time to be able to comment on all the blogs that I read. I have “Liked” posts just to give encouragement sometimes.

    I think a lot of people “Like” in order to reciprocate the “Likes” from other bloggers. It is noticeable by the time shown in the notification area, that it takes to view a succession of posts on a blog.

    Ronnie.

  23. tenaciousbitch

    I think this is an important post because too often people LIKE things without thinking. I am not one of those people. For example, I’m constantly deluged by little BLURBS, if you will, from WALMART asking me to LIKE them. Well, I don’t like Walmart, and I will never LIKE them on Facebook. I even ranted about that very issue. I once clicked on a basketball player (for the NBA) whom I do like, and suddenly he appeared on my WALL as my favorite athlete on Facebook. Um, no, he’s not my favorite. I’m not a huge basketball fan. We are hockey and football people, and I had a devil of a time removing said basketball player from my list of FAVORITES, which shouldn’t be the case. It’s my Facebook page, It shouldn’t have been that complicated. But anyway…I think there’s too much importance put on whether someone LIKES you or not on a social networking page. Maybe, they just didn’t happen to be on Facebook or Stumble Upon or wherever when a prompt appeared to LIKE your page, but they actually LIKE YOU…or maybe they have had much time to visit their social networking pages lately. That doesn’t mean they don’t LIKE you or your product or German Shepherds or cats or whatever the banner of the day that happens to be floating upon our pages constantly. Yet, major corporations are actually taking huge stock in the LIKES on Facebook and Stumble Upon and God knows how many sites. It’s kind of scary when you think about it. After all, considering this trend, a divorce could be based on facts like – I didn’t click LIKE on a photo of my husband’s band because…hmmm…I was too busy earning a living that day to go onto a social networking site, but maybe when I logged onto FB on my phone – I clicked LIKE on Brad Pitt’s because his image happened to pop up on my FB page, so maybe, I like Brad more. My husband isn’t that irrational, but…see what I mean?

  24. plasmnetic

    Excellent discussion of why we “like” the things we do; I don’t think we will ever know the answer. I hate saying I “Like” something just because; that means nothing to me. I quit hitting the “like” button a while back; for me, it is a cop-out. It’s easy to “like” something; commenting on something is a challenge. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  25. Norton Nearly

    I like what I like. Really. I only “like” posts and things that touch me in some manner. And while I appreciate every “like” I get, I’d rather readers over likers any day.
    NN

  26. milkyminx

    Hi Jennifer! Great topic you’ve started discussion on. The self-serving motives behind likes is off-putting. And without a comment to qualify it, the writer may just have to wonder what the “liker” liked. Maybe because of this, some people do not have a “like” button on their blogs; They accept only comments. Nonetheless, from my point of view, a “like” is just a readers indication that there was something they appreciated in a post. And sure — you may have something in common, so it’s easy to reciprocate; but I don’t expect like for like. 🙂

    There is also the star rating feature, which indicates how much you liked a post, but I’m not sure how popular that is, although it does provide more information than a simple “like.”

    All the best to you!//mm

  27. C A Rose Klix

    I wish there was a thumbs down icon. Sometimes I really don’t like what they said. Usually I pass it by. Sometimes I comment. What would the bean counters say to this concept?
    For instance, I “like” my “friends” but I dislike them posting photographs of some decadent dessert or non-nutritious casserole. I don’t cook. I eat simple foods. I skip over those messages of recipes and photos of such foods. They probably do the same when they see my posts, likes and comments on health issues. Maybe there should be even more filters on Facebook settings.

  28. geeklore

    Thanks for liking my post. But I am curious though? Why did you like it? I liked your post because what had been on a back burner for me came out clearly in your post.

  29. bobmcheffey

    At least with blogs, there is a difference for me between liking and following. I like something if it speaks to me (I pretty much just read poetry posts) and if I were to hear it being read I would be moved to respond internally and react externally. I only follow someone if I see that my reactions would happen often for that person’s work. On facebook, I only like posts by friends to let them know I am at least passively involved in the important things in their lives. By the way, I very rarely read a post and then all of the comments following said post, and even more rarely do I comment myself. Your post has obviously lead me to do this strange activity. So I like it.

  30. My Dominican Love

    I ‘like’ the majority of times to show support of a friend or acquaintance. If I don’t agree with them or the subject is what I feel to be a bit too intense for me to address, I just remain quiet. But I also ‘like’ when I actually like something. In fact, I find myself ‘liking’ throughout the day. I ‘like’ in the taxi, I ‘like’ in the office, I even ‘like’ at times when crossing the street. Hey…call me a dare devil why don’t cha. 🙂 And I can like in the middle of cooking dinner, conversations with friends, wherever, whenever. I tell some people…”like me and I will like you back.” So we’re mutual likers which I obviously like and I believe they like it too. The point is, I’m a ‘like’ friendly person which means you may not even know it….I’ve probably already liked you. 🙂

  31. writingthebody

    Gawd..how complex….I wonder if it matters really…..I must admit I just hit like if it makes me think, or if I, well, like it. Like….this.

  32. cometotimmy

    I simply appreciate looking at a nice picture, reading a poem that pleasures, or a thought that is evocative. I tend to not hand out Likes just to hand them out. There’s a few sites I’ve come to look forward to, skim the reader, see a few faves, drop in and leave a like as my way of saying ‘hey just dropping by on my rounds, thanks for putting this pic or poem or thought out there’.

  33. zdunno03

    This is a really good topic for a post and deserves a comment, not just a like. I usually click like because, like you and many others posting comments here, there is more than one criteria for it. I might appreciate the style and the thinking, though I don’t necessarily have to agree with the content. Or maybe I appreciate the effort put into the post, the artwork, or the attempt at experimenting with a different poetic form. I also tend to like most of what some people post because I admire their output, their commitment to the work, and thus deserve my support. I tend to think of that like button as a show of support, encouragement. And I take it that same way. Comments are more meaningful, of course, but if you are following many blogs, it’s difficult to comment on everything you “like” so it’s easier in the long run to click that button and then move on to reading the next post. But I’m never insincere in my use of the button and don’t click like because I want to increase my readership. I much prefer that the people who appreciate my posts for whatever reasons are reading them and if that number is small, it’s okay with me. I’d rather communicate with people actually interested in what I’m saying then just in it for sheer number. What’s the point in that?
    Good post, though. And you can tell it is by the number of people commenting.

  34. syl65

    I like because it something that moves me. It could be a well written poem or story. It could be an inspirational message, a beautiful or funny picture. I don’t like just to like, that is surely not a recipe for getting likes back.

  35. lisajohnsonsawyer

    I have been on WP since April of this year. Your post was very intense to me as I am not one to constantly watch my stats. I write to enjoy life. If people read and they like it…great.
    As for facebook, I despise FB. It seems more and more as time goes on, FB has become a rant, rave, drama filled land where people go to spill their lives and others’ lives. I am not a fan of that. I also believe if you have something to hide….then you have something to hide. I hate all the chat boxes, inboxes, and ways “old friends” can connect. Too vunerable. LIKE LIKE LIKE…. (as far as FB that is)
    As for WP…I LIKE something that speaks to me. I honestly have never thought about someones stats. Maybe someone needs to explain “stats” more clearly to me and what it means ….

    Great post!

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