Before I go any further, I’d like to acknowledge that I have been awarded another Versatile Blogger Award, this time at Life In A Notebook. This happened a while ago, but I haven’t talked about it yet, and for that I apologize. I’m incredibly grateful that someone feels as though I deserve a blogging award. I’m not going to do the usual nominating/random facts thing, though, because I’ve already done plenty of that. For a peek at the awards I’ve gotten in the past and thus the blogs you should follow, though, check out the “awards” tag in the sidebar.
Okay. Today I’m going to break my normal tradition and talk about something un-book related.
I know. Shocking, right?
Anyway, along with the emergence of Facebook came the notion of “liking” something. That is, clicking a button showing your support of a post or whatever, or your agreeing with something. It doesn’t require any actual effort from what I’ll call the liker, and it provides a means of saying something when there’s really nothing to say.
But it’s occurred to me that the like button may be hindering communication.
Recently I read a comment on a blog post that I really agreed with, but I didn’t have anything specific to say. Gee, I thought, I wish there was a like button for comments. Immediately afterward, I got to thinking about how people can no longer use words to express themselves. We feel as though a like or a thumbs-up or whatever will be enough of a communication. In a lot of cases, it is.
But no like button is a substitution for using language to get ourselves across. No simple expression of our agreement can perfectly replace an intelligent discussion among different people. Even if it’s just reiterating someone else’s point, even if it’s just agreeing, can’t we still use words for this?
For all of its ease of communication, social networking is to some extent lessening the contact we have with other people, at least in my humble opinion. There are less face-to-face conversations nowadays. Everything is getting more and more impersonal, and the like button only adds to this.
I’m not completely knocking the like button. It certainly has its uses. All I’m saying is if you feel as though you have something to contribute to a conversation, don’t stop at liking a post. Get involved; make a point; do something to let the person who posted know you read/looked at whatever it is and are truly interested in it.
Sorry to get all preachy on you, readers, but I felt like I needed to put this out there. Now that I think about it, though, this is really close to the issue that forms the core of the short story I’m sharing with you guys starting next week…I swear I didn’t do that on purpose. Weird.