Like, Mad?

Cover image from the book 'Like, MAD'.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’.

How can one like this? Or this? Or this? There are, quite simply, some posts I hate to like (such as this one)…

… 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 ;)

About pendantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in ... wait, what?, balance, Communication, Computers and Internet, memetics, Phlyarology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Like, Mad?

  1. Beck says:

    To this I can completely relate. Facebook gives us emoji options – I appreciate that because my heart my be broken over something I just read and don’t necessarily “like” that. I’d rather cry 😭.
    I also wish there was an “I’m here” button but maybe don’t agree with what you said.
    There have been two posts that I have written that I really wanted to like myself but I didn’t 😂!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m like you. I like a post to let the writer know I was there when I don’t have anything to say. I have never liked any of my own posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel guilty that I liked this!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree, largely, “Like” equals “appreciate”. Does not necessarily mean “agree”. I find it weird too that a post will maybe get 90% of all its “likes” within a day of being written, but I suppose it’s a bit like a newspaper. One thing I find weird is that some themes receive more likes than others, so does that subconsciously direct me toward writing on certain themes?
    Every time someone new follows me I think “high water mark”, but the number keeps going up, albeit gradually – another weird one. Now, I take more notice it more when people interact with posts, instead of just following the blog. Every now and again I have visits from very uncommon countries and I wish sometimes they’d just say Hi in a comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom says:

    I hit Like in error, Pendantry. 😂
    I mean, I didn’t, I hit Like a little earlier than I intended to on this post, so I would’ve hit it eventually anyway. Like you, I tend to use Like as a calling card. I read the posts I like, I don’t just click Like on the post without reading, but sometimes I either don’t have a comment or don’t have time to comment (which sounds terrible but sometimes I’m so far behind in my reading this is all I can do!)
    I always like comments left for me though, although I always reply to comments also (eventually, same time issue!).
    Generally though, I class likes as an indicator someone has called by, not necessarily that they’ve actually liked my post.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. James says:

    This one left me with a conundrum. I liked the post so I ‘liked’ the post. But I felt, because the post was about ‘likes’ it merited a comment. If only to acknowledge that I actually did like the post as well as ‘liking’ it…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You’re not the only one who has casually used a like to show support, whether a post was skimmed or not. It’s almost a sort of common decency now.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. When it comes to reblogs, I, too go to the source if I have anything to say about it. It’s only fair.

    However, Likes are a little different for me. I very rarely press it. It’s so easy to just press a button so I up more value on comments.

    Why do some people Like their own content? Easy – to boost up the numbers. I don’t do it but I do understand why some people do.

    It doesn’t only apply to old content for me but any posts. I get a lot more views than Likes and comments. Why? Don’t agree? Don’t like? Tell me.

    Liked by 1 person

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