What message does a ‘like‘ send?
One of the things about blogging (and other aspects of Internet life) that puzzles me more than a little is ‘the like’.
… and yet, I still click ‘Like’, perhaps largely because I simply want the other person to know I dropped by, and want to show appreciation for the time and effort taken to share. Sometimes I’ll even do so on articles the content of which may not be of particular interest to me. Are you the same?
Some blogs don’t have ‘likes’ enabled on posts. I get to the end of the article and look for the button, but it’s not there. My visit feels incomplete, somehow. Sure, I could leave a comment (on those posts that allow them) but that requires thinking….
Sometimes I’ll skim-read a post, and then click ‘like’, feeling a little guilty in doing so. I may also ‘like’ posts that I don’t fully understand (especially poetry). Does this make me a bad person?
One promise I made myself a while back relates to ‘reblogs’. I see some reblogs where the ‘reblog’ post itself gets a lot of likes, but when following the link to the post that’s been reblogged, I may see fewer likes. I promised myself I wouldn’t behave like that… if I like the reblog, I’ll go and read (and like) the original, too. (Does this make me a good person?)
One thing I don’t get — and, please, don’t be offended if this applies to you — is where someone hits ‘like’ on their own blog post. Of course you like it: you wrote it! (Who publishes stuff they wrote that they don’t themselves like?)
… which leads me on to the other side of the coin; those who create the content that others ‘like’. (In the blogosphere, that hat’s worn by most if not all of us.) I admit that I like to see the ‘likes’ because they’re an indication that I’m not completely wasting my time; most words are written to be read. But as Non-Lackadaisical says, “We are letting people who we more than likely don’t even know control how we feel about ourselves.” I think she has a point.
In ‘Why Do You Blog?‘, Dr Perry says:
My first “like” was thrilling and my first “follow” validating. Someone else was actually up and either reading or writing on their own blog. To my surprise, they had read and connected with me. […] I believe in some way, we all write for connection. We seek to connect with ourselves or with our fellow man or woman. […] I try to like everything I read to encourage others.
I too, try to like everything I read to encourage others. I think it enhances community.
There’s also, in blogs that are configured that way, ‘likes’ on comments. For a blog owner, that’s a quick way to indicate to a commenter that you’ve seen their comment. These days I do try to respond to all comments, but sometimes no matter how much I rack my brain I just can’t come up with something that doesn’t sound trite, so I’ll just hit ‘like’ instead.
One thing I really don’t understand is this: a blog is a four-dimensional beast; it exists through time. Old posts don’t necessarily lose their validity just because they’re old. My own blog’s stats show that some people visit old posts of mine, such as this one, and this one. But the odd thing is: even though they get visits, those old posts rarely get ‘likes’. And they’re even more unlikely to get comments. Now, I grant you, a lot of my posts are total garbage. But some of them aren’t that bad. More recent ones tend to get likes and comments no matter how rubbish they are: but the old ones? The old ones mostly get visitors who pass like ghosts in the night. I wonder why that is?
Thanks for listening to my rambling. Please leave a comment, so that I can like it ;)