The “Like” revolutionised how we interact. Suddenly we could show our appreciation with the click of a button.
As we start 2018 I can’t help but wonder what the value of a “Like” is.
For the owners of the functionality, it it’s a mean to gauge what we are interested in, for marketeers it is an indication of what they can sell to us and for social media content professionals it is a mean to quantify their content’s value and monetise it. Not to forget the knowledge of what we “Like” can be used for obscure experiments into the human psychology and the manipulation thereof.
Has the value for us as people disappeared?
In 2017 I noticed I would scroll through Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and in an automated fashion hitting the “Like” button, without really digesting or understanding the content. I noticed the same pattern on Twitter, where I would retweet content if the headline sounded interesting, often without reading the actual article it was promoting.
But I also noticed that on Linkedin I would always take the time to read any content and comment on it before sharing it. And with a hobby Twitter, I noticed I would often retweet with an attached comment. In both cases it would trigger interesting conversation and debate.
And I realised: The value is not in the “Like” or the “Sharing’, it is in the comment I attach to it. My viewpoint and my time invested.
My 2018 New Year’s Resolution
- I will not Like anything on Social Media. If I find it interesting I will comment on it instead.
- I will only Share content with my own viewpoint attached on why I find it interesting.
- I will consider using Like as a payment for content created by professionals. Namely on YouTube.
A final thought
I spoke to my partner about this and she said she only ever “Liked” content by close friends to indicate “I thinking of you and I am watching your stuff because I love you”. Any other content she follows she would never react to. I like this model too. It shows that her social media interactions are part of a wider social pattern extending outside social media and into her real life relationships.