Liking versus Interacting

I’ve just read two very interesting, thought provoking articles.  The first, by Elan Morgan (Schmutzie), “I Quit Liking Things on Facebook for Two Weeks.  Here’s How it Changed my View of Humanity” is about what her experience was to stop liking everything on Facebook.  The second, by Mat Honan, “I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days.  Here’s What it Did to Me” explains what his experience was while liking absolutely everything on Facebook.

I hope you will read the articles, and I hope it makes you think about what kind of content you are encouraging and allowing into your lives.  It certainly has helped open my eyes.

I’ve thought, several times, over the last months (years, maybe?) about my own trend of liking (and favoriting, on Twitter) links, pictures, posts.  Am I a bad person if I don’t like my sister’s photo? Does it make me unthoughtful to not like my mom’s re-post?  Do people know I exist if i don’t like or favorite?  Will my friend be mad if I don’t like her tweet or status update?

I’ve tried, several times, half heartedly, to “like” things less, or to “favorite” less tweets.  It never works, and I’ll tell you why.  I’ll also tell you why this time, with this change, it will be different. While I’ve tried in the past to “like” less things, that is ALL I’ve tried to do.  I haven’t supplemented my lack of liking with commenting or interacting.  Instead, I keep liking more and more things.

Some things, I don’t even truly “like,” but I “like” or “favorite” them because I feel its expected.  How stupid, to feel that a social media website, with live people that I know and love, will expect me to make a thumbs up sign or a star on their post.  We, as a society, have done this to ourselves, with the help of these fantastic social media sites and their algorithms.

Why? Am I lazy? Society has made it so easy to “like” and “favorite,” and move on.  No interaction.  Both articles above touch on the interactions.  By “liking” everything, the human experience within these social media sites disappears, and what is left is robots and algorithms, showing you crap it think you want to see.  As Elan explains, by commenting, and not “liking,” the social media becomes at least somewhat more social, more civilized.

I am going to give this an honest to goodness shot.  I will not be liking or favoriting anything, at least for a while.  I’m sure it will be hard.  I will have to make a conscious effort to comment on things I do like, and interact with people.  I am hoping it will make social media transform into what it truly was intended to be, a tool to connect, not a barrier to separate.

Please give those articles a read, they are both very good.  I know Facebook and Twitter, and all social media, is a trivial and stupid thing to talk about and spend time discussing, but so much of our lives revolve around it.  It has shaped who we are in this world and how we communicate, and now, I am going to try to allow it to help me communicate and interact with those I love, and stop arbitrarily giving thumbs up or stars to words on a screen.

Less liking, more interacting.  Who’s with me?

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