The Search for the Genuine “Like” by Katy Lee

Do you remember your first crush? Do you remember the first time you told someone you liked them? How big that was? I think back to the excitement I had the first time I put myself out on that limb. It was not something flippantly said or entered into lightly. My “like” was almost sacred. It was a way to say I was committed to someone, and even something.

I think of how committed I am to my favorite flavor of ice cream and brand of deodorant. I liked mint chocolate chip so much it is still my “go-to” flavor to this day, and the deodorant I liked will be forever on my closet shelf. The idea of it being discontinued brings on panicked feelings of doom—similar to the break-up feelings after my first crush. Ouch.

But I digress; the point here is that stating my likes was a way to define who I was and what was important to me and what I wanted in life. The word “like” held a weight that was as binding as any contract.

So why is it lately, I feel as though the word “like” has lost its credibility? Everywhere I look these days, I am met with a demand, er… I mean a request to like something. It’s to the point that I automatically click “like” without giving any thought. I’m starting to feel like Pavlov’s dog, except I’m not really sure what the reward is … and I’m not salivating. The only thing I am sure of is with every click I make, the meaning of the word loses more of its weight.

It’s no longer enough to say you liked something. Now we have to go above and beyond to create more descriptive words to show our commitment to something. For example, when I read a book and say, “I liked it,” the first thought in someone’s mind is what didn’t you like about it? Soooooooo … I guess from now on I will need to say, “Wow, that was epic!” so they’ll know I really did like it.  (But then again, I think the word “epic” is losing its weight, too. Thank God I have a thesaurus.)

Now I don’t want to make this blog about social media in the sense that all this “liking” going on is a way to drive up business and marketability—and advertising costs. True or not, that’s not what this post is about, but rather, social media in the sense that they would have us believing that by clicking “like” we are brought closer to someone. Personally, I think it’s almost a way to not become social. By clicking “like” and moving on I don’t have to go out of my way to converse or listen. I don’t have to make a point to say what I actually liked about something … or someone.

Which leads me to wonder if a girl still says “I like you” to a boy these days? Does it hold the same weight as it did for me? Does it cause the same heart pounding rhythms it did in my youth? I surely hope so, because that is one conversation I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on … or not be genuine about.

The Unlocked Secret: Without the conversation, we are not any closer, and with the excessive “likes” we dole out every day, our “likes” lose their validity. So as for me, this year I will attempt to change that. Usually, I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I think the desire to be genuine is more of a commitment to better my character. This year, I will make my “like” count. I encourage you to do the same.

*Note: Do not feel obligated to “like” this post. Instead, join in on the conversation. Although, your “likes” and “shares” are always appreciated.

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13 thoughts on “The Search for the Genuine “Like” by Katy Lee”

  1. I feel a little weird LIKING this post, but I must. And it’s because I agree whole heartedly. Thanks for pointing this out, Katy!

  2. I only “like” something if I genuinely do, so I’m good there. My issue is more with all the “following” that goes on, LOL. I don’t want to follow a complete stranger anywhere! In an effort to help fellow writers build their social media presence, we are asked to “follow” a FB page or “follow” them on Twitter. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t automatically do this anymore. I determine who and what types of postings I want to see and am much more targeted these days about who shows up on my FB page or twitter feed. I think you’re right, Katy. We all need to consider who and what we have our focus on in order for it to mean something to us, and nothing takes the place of sincere communication. Nice post. I even “liked” it:-)

  3. You hit it dead on. Often in comments, I’ll look for a way to “like” someone’s comment and usually there isn’t one, so I either have to reply to that person’s comment or forego saying anything. I’m ashamed to say often I pass on without adding my two cents.

    Hitting “like” is a shortcut – one that, in this day of tiny attention spans, may be seen by some as necessary. But I think I’ll try your route – be more genuine in my “likes”. Thanks for the post!

    1. Nice to hear! And I’ll admit, I do the same thing. A lot of the time it is because I am pressed for time. But maybe I shouldn’t get online if I can’t give someone’s post my attention. Just a thought…

  4. I’m with PJ on this one. I only “Like” something if I really do. That’s my picture, my brand, my stamp of approval, so to speak. When I’m pressed for time, as we often are, I sometimes don’t add my comment, although I always enjoy commenting far more than simply liking. Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year to you, too! And I really like what you said about my “like” being my stamp of approval to my own followers. If I steer them wrong over and over, then my own brand won’t be trusted anymore. Another reason to make my “like” count.

  5. Katy, I “liked” your post. Paula always makes commenting easier for me b/c I totally agree with her comments. If I like, I say so, and b/c my time is limited, as you pointed out about yours, I carefully choose to whom and what I am replying. It was fun though, with your reminder about my first boyfriend “like” and how quickly it all evaporated.

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