facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

On every social network website one visits these days you find yourself looking at a ‘Like’ button. It’s always egging you to click it. It’s as if it’s a constant reminder that every person has to like something/someone or be liked. It seems like,  people like to like. . What is it about life that we all have to  ‘like’? Or is it in ‘like’?

Liking something, apparently and according to psychologists is an inherent human trait. Human beings gravitate towards bonding from an early age. Is this fondness for ‘Like’ an extension of that psychological DNA?  It is a universally acknowledged fact that humans like all mammals procreate and therefore we are all offshoots of an episode when ‘like-ing’ was involved. I maybe stretching that a bit though, but if one really were to think about it, that is true. The ‘like’ episode may have happened outside a night club or pub; could have been whilst high on some substances or drink or even somewhere like the romantic woods – The truth though is for a split second  the congress happened because the  ‘like’ button  got touched. The ‘like’ button could also have been through a mutually loving and romantic relationship. In truth it would also have begun as a ‘Like’. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy…..

Blogging has made me more aware of the ‘like’ phenomenon. It’s like a social network el nino warmingly sweeping across all social network sites. Bloggers love  (notice  I didn’t say like) to write and or present their work to the public to view and read. We all love feedback, comments and criticism. No matter how harsh some of the feedback/comments maybe, it is important and helpful to a large degree. In the olden days one expected  a comment or feedback in writing. The ‘Like’ button has taken away the time and effort  that otherwise could have been invested in writing a comment. It has become a symbol of the way we live life now. Instead of writing as we have done for centuries in long-hand, shorthand has become the norm. Maybe we live busy lives now. Or maybe because of the internet, we are constantly inundated, or should I say bombarded by new articles the result of which is that we do not have that much time to actually read and take time to  comment. Just read and click on the  ‘Like’ has now become the norm. There, no one is hurt, and the writer’s ego gets a much-needed boost.

Facebook should be blamed for universalizing that ‘Like’ trend.  Of course they should not solely be blamed for the way short-hand writing and speaking (short-hand speak, well you know what I mean) has surreptitiously been foisted upon us. That honour should be shared with Twitter (I blogged about that a while ago (‘Life of Twits’). Perhaps Facebook developers saw that ‘Like’ thingie on another website, liked it so much and decided to copy it . It has now become a part of  socialization, like a social DNA that groups us with other people who, like us, ‘like’ something similar. Nonetheless, because of Facebook the ‘Like’ button, like a mushroom seems to be sprouting everywhere. WordPress has caught the bug too. Who can blame them! So has Goodreads, stumbledupon, tumblr, just to name a few. They have all caught the ‘Like’ fever.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘Like’ means ‘things one likes or prefers’. Why and how did they settle on ‘like” . Wouldnt  ‘Love’ be more appropriate. One wonders, was there like a summit of people sitting down like around a table and deciding the vocabulary  social network sites should adopt. You know the default settings, like. Or could there  be like some Big Brother omnipresent ‘person/body’ who directs the internet from some little room somewhere, like the Fat Controller. That controller is watching what we ‘like’ all the time and nodding approvingly, or otherwise. Or is it because we have all become technologically lethargic and now just copy and paste what is there all ready. Why reinvent the wheel! In life  one normally gets to choose to  ‘like’ or ‘dislike’. The inquisitive me wonders why there is no ‘dislike’ button. Believe me I have searched. Surely if one can choose to ‘like’, it goes without saying they can also chose to ‘dislike’. Or then again one surely (not surely, really ) can choose to  sit on the fence. We live in an age where making choices is part and parcel of everyday living. So therefore we should have that opportunity or choice to  plant our proverbial (backside) tick on the ‘fence’ button. Liberals should have a choice too. We can not and should not assume that people have to either ‘like’ or just do nothing. There is a mental process involved. For instance if one places a ‘Big Mac‘ (for clarification sake) on my Facebook page, and I will probably click the ‘like’ button. My mate who is vegetarian to the core, at seeing that ‘abominable’ object and my ‘Like’ next to it, may probably want to point out that  they ‘dislike’ that ‘Big Mac’. However, there maybe another acquaintance or mate who at seeing the ‘Big Mac’ thing, might think ‘yep its ok’ , but decide they do not want to upset anyone and so want to be sitting on the fence. Surely they would want to be heard too.

‘Like’ to me sounds like the younger sibling to ‘love’. Or a diluted version of ‘love’. Its like having a shandy instead of the beer, the real thing. Like when you  tremblingly utter the immortal phrase ‘I like you’ to someone who had been the prime sauce of your  prepubescent insomnia. Overtime that grows to ‘I love you’. Why did the clever clogs in the social network sites not just come up with ‘love’, ‘hate’ ‘fence’. Just go the whole hog and get people to say the truth. Because with ‘like’ you are kinda admitting you want, you love, you approve; but you can not boldly say  ‘I love it’. If you ‘like’ your Big Mac (for illustration purposes only) then why not just declare you ‘love’ it. It’s all like semantic camouflaging. Pretending to be one with  everyone in the ‘cool circle’ .We should campaign for ‘Like’ to be ‘unliked’ and let’s have ‘love’ replace it instead. We want true colours and true feelings to come shining through!

I like to like and be liked. However, if  truth be told, I prefer to love, be loved and feel the love. It’s never that cool to feel the ‘like’. Can you really say I can ‘feel the like’? I hope you like the blog. It’s always nice to get readers acknowledging your effort with a ‘Like’. I would also like to add that  I thought long and hard about well-known brands that can divide opinions and I only managed to  come up with 2. Marmite and Big Mac. I decided to choose the latter, like.

The Fat Controller

The Fat Controller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)