The “Like” Impulse

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

As of late, I’ve been catching myself, rather frequently, amidst the urge to like (thumbs-up, Facebook-like) content that simply cannot be liked. It is simultaneously sad and amusing. Thankfully, I haven’t yet felt this urge IRL, although I have a sense that such a day is right around the sweet little corner. Mostly, my “like instinct” kicks in during email correspondence  and within my school’s learning management system, Canvas.


The like/favourite is such a useful option for correspondence – I really have no trouble at all in understanding my desire to use it out of context. Do you have nothing meaningful to contribute, but still want to integrate yourself into a conversation? Like. Do you really not feel like responding to someone, but know that you really should? Like. Do you want to show someone that you admire them, but not have the words to express yourself? Like. Do you want to show your enthusiasm in a short and sweet way? Like! Those are the major uses that come to mind. If you ask me, that covers a whole lot of social territory.

I remember when the “like” button first came out for Facebook, people were making Facebook groups to petition its abolishment. I wonder what they would say now.

Also, as a side note, I have this pretty constant insecurity of being an over-liker. You know those people who like your stuff so often that you almost start to discount it? You get excited about your Facebook notification, and then it’s like, “oh, it’s just Parker liking my stuff again.” My sister told me I was one of those people.

My current reactionary philosophy to this sort of thinking is:

1) Don’t ever take your likes for granted. Every like counts and behind every like there is someone who likes you. ❤

2) Don’t ever restrain your likes. Trying to keep your like count at a certain level calls for just way too much unnecessary stress. It’s okay if you don’t achieve like reciprocity.

At the same time, I think if you feel as though you are over-liking, it is important to reflect on whether or not you could be commenting instead, and if you actually like what you are liking. Along these lines, I think that liking for the sake of “like reciprocity” is a behaviour that should be kept in check.  But as long as we put an effort into being conscious of the intent behind our likes, I say like away!


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