Modern Facebook Phenomenon: The Careless Like
Thanks to Facebook, ‘Like’ has evolved from an expression of positive regard to a digital expression of varying sentiments. It says I agree, approve, support you, am proud of you and think you rock. It can also mean hilarious, too cute, beautiful, me too and OMG.
A half-second click of the Like button is far easier than drafting a clever or heartfelt message. It allows us stay in touch and show we’re listening without exerting too many brain cells.
All fine and well, but it is sad how often I see people take the Like too far. In the ethics of proper Facebook liking, a line is crossed with the careless like – a knee-jerk response to a friend’s earth-shattering, gut-wrenching, horribly sad news with an utterly inappropriate ‘Like!’
- “My mom lost her battle with cancer today.” 2 LIKES!
- “We had to rush my wife to the ER. We lost the baby at 14 weeks, but mom is still in good health.” 3 LIKES!
- “Entire family in bed with the flu. Help!” 10 LIKES!
A clumsy slip of the click-finger can be the only acceptable reason for liking another’s grief. Lord knows I’ve accidentally liked things on Facebook I had no intention of ‘liking.’ (Wal-Mart, anyone?)
I get that the rules are changing, and I know how difficult it is to find the right words to respond to a friend’s suffering and loss. But ‘Like’ simply shouldn’t be one of them.
While the I Care button is limited to causes, both it and the Tumblr ♥ feel like more appropriate responses. So the way I see it, there are only two solutions to this phenomenon:
- We petition the Facebook crew to finally introduce more thoughtful buttons beyond ‘Like.’ I mean, how hard could it be? See examples above.
- Stifle the impulse to click and actually type 2-5 character responses in the comment section. (Hug) and xx convey maximum compassion with minimal characters. Or go ALL OUT and type entire phrases like ‘Thinking of you’, ‘So sorry’ or ‘Let me know if you need anything.’
I know it’s a lot of effort, but it could – like – make someone’s day. When they might need it most.