What does Facebook’s “Like” button mean to you? Does it have a different meaning depending on the status to which you’re responding? Does clicking the button without commenting seem impersonal at times?
“I’m totally loving all the snow!”
“A friend is having surgery tomorrow. Please pray.”
“My neighbor is such a mean person.”
If a friend posted any of the above as status messages, would you click the “Like” button”? Would you hesitate as I do sometimes before deciding whether or not a “Like” is an adequate form of support for a friend?
Usually, making the decision to click the thumbs up icon is an easy one for me. If a friend is posting a celebratory message or an opinion with which I agree, a quick push of the “Like” button lets them know that I, well, like what they’ve posted.
Take the first two statuses above. Liking snow and Fridays is pretty straight forward, so I can “like” those without commenting and move along without feeling awkward.
However, what about the status that announces surgery and requests prayer? Would you be so quick to “like” that one and move on without commenting? Would it seem impersonal?
At times, I’ve hesitated before pushing the button without at least leaving a comment, such as, “Praying for you…” Something about just liking this kind of status seems impersonal to me. I figure that if someone took the time to put themselves out there and request prayer, the least I could do is respond with words of comfort and affirmation. (Oh, and as a side note, when I tell someone that I’m going to pray, I stop whatever I’m doing at that very moment and do just what I promised. I pray. After all, it’s not like I was really busy; I was perusing Facebook.)
How do you feel about liking a status that informs you of some kind trial that has been, or will be, faced? Would it seem odd to like a status that announces bad or sad news? “My car troubles are a bummer”, or, “I think I’m coming down with the flu”. Pushing the “Like” button doesn’t seem like the right thing to do in these instances.
While I’m on the topic of potentially improper use of the little blue thumps up button, how would you respond to a status like the above one about the mean neighbor? Would “liking” that status signify that you agree about your friend’s assessment of their neighbor? Or would it mean that you agree with the neighbor’s alleged bad behavior – secretly thinking that your friend deserves what they’re getting?
Sometimes, we push the “Like” button and move on without commenting. I’m guilty of that. So, I’m trying to slow down a bit in order to really communicate my sentiments about a status update that a friend took the time to share.
I push the “Like” button at least a dozen times each day, but each “Like” has its own meaning. Sometimes it means, “Cool”. Other times it means, “Please let me know what I can do to help”. Frequently it means, “I agree”. Regardless of what it means each time I click it, I love the show of support that it allows me to demonstrate toward my friends. I never want it to mean that I’m too busy and impersonal to be there for a friend, so when called for, clicking that button is followed by something else that Facebook encourages – comments.