This world. This place. This life.

Please don’t like me


I’ve been trying to figure out if I can change my Facebook settings so I no longer get notifications when someone “likes” a photo or link or status update I’ve posted.

So far, no luck.

Last week, Liesl and I watched the Frontline documentary, “Generation Like,” and it made me want to disconnect from “like” notifications even more.

Here’s the deal. When I see the little white number in the red circle on my phone, I want real interaction with you. When the Facebook tab on my laptop toolbar shows a number in parentheses, I’m hoping you’ve got something to say.

“Liking” has come to mean so many things on Facebook. It’s a nod. It’s a smile. It’s a gentle hand on my shoulder. It’s an acknowledgment that you’ve noticed.

But it’s silent. It’s quick and easy. And it makes me feel like an approval junkie when I get excited by a “like” count.

So please don’t like me. Not unless you really, really like my photo, my link, my status update. And even then, would it be so much harder to type a few words?

Because I’m tired of the drive-by nod, the distracted smile, the easy comfort, the split-second attention.

Let’s be real friends to each other, instead of being stretched thin, “like butter scraped over too much bread.”

The “like”habit is hard to break, but I want to work on it. How about you?


9 thoughts on “Please don’t like me

  1. Tolkien quote. That’s a nice touch. My husband and I are fans of the “Lord of the Rings” movies. He reads the books but I haven’t been able to wade through them yet. As a 56 year old senior, who isn’t really into technology, I have struggled to just learn the basics of computers & nearly had a breakdown when I joined Facebook. Lol! I’ve had the suspicion that even though we are more connected in many ways through technology these days, we are less intimate than ever.

  2. I could not agree more. “Likes” are great if I make a joke or post a recycled quote. If I post about a life event, I’d love someone to take the time to type, “Way to go!” or “Thank you for sharing”, even if those don’t take much more effort. It at least shows that you processed the information. It is extremely frustrating on my blog and Fb pages, because I want to know how my work effects people. I don’t care that you came to the page and found a button if the writing didn’t give you something to think about.

  3. I admit, I like ‘like’ – as a way to acknowledge that I saw or read something even if I don’t have an immediate fleshed-out and thoughtful response (as I often don’t – it takes me some time to craft those!) I’d much rather see “Nagoonberry and 17 other people liked your comment!” (which I can clear with a single click) than have 17 comments consisting of “Cool!” and “Wow!” with no substantial conversation in them, or worse yet, a post with ‘viewed by 17 people’ and no response at all…

    I can see where it would get annoying for someone who gets a lot more traffic than I do, though.

  4. But we DO like you!!! BTW: I have all my notifications off on my phone and tablet.

  5. If what you don;t want is the notifications on you (I assume “smart”) phone, you CAN opt out of them. They just clog up your email box. Go to settings….

  6. “Like,” for me, is NOT a substitute for a comment. It’s, in the vein you mentioned, a nod, an eyebrow, a tip of the hat in passing. It’s an online equivalent of the non-verbal positive feedback I might give you were we in person . . . and the alternative, from me, is not more comments. It’s less interaction. If something elicits a verbal response from me, you’ll get it. I’ve been a heavy user of FB since 2006, and remember before “like” (and before, for that matter, the info feed, the home page, and the ability to do anything on FB besides post a status and a picture). There weren’t MORE comments and interactions before this–there were fewer. Things were hits or misses, with very little gradation. Certainly, the tools available on FB are blunt instruments compared to the range of options that we have, and without our even consciously having to choose many of them, when we meet in person. We are highly evolved in this capacity . . . and I’m persuaded that Facebook is learning from US in this way, and not the other way around.

    • Hi, Jordinn! It’s been fun living with this post. Mostly, it’s made me more aware of my responses on FB. When I click “like” now, there’s a little voice that asks, “Is there anything more you want to say?” And often, there is.

      I like what you’ve said about blunt instruments, and our power to change FB. It will be interesting to see how much we can nudge FB into giving us options for more diverse non-verbal responses. I’d like to know when someone chuckles, when someone nods, when someone says, “Awww” because something is cute, etc. Right now, all those are “likes.”

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