Monday, January 17, 2011

Have You Ever Hesitated to "Like" on Facebook?

I like that Facebook is all about "liking." 

And it's clearly on purpose that there's no "dislike" button, although sometimes I think a word other than "like" might be more appropriate. For example, someone posts bad news ("Wow, my fave trainer just got fired for indecent exposure"), and others respond with a "like" when what they really mean is, "Hey, man, I feel your pain." 

I like "liking" because it's a mini show of support or a virtual smile/laugh. It's Facebook's version of two thumbs up. 

But I always pause before tapping the "like" button - do you?

If you've ever Facebook-liked, you know that it means an inevitable onslaught of off-the-cuff comments and inside jokes from friends of friends about whatever you've liked. 

And I don't like it. I prefer to "like" and be done with it. 

Then again... 

I'll be the first to admit that I beam a little on the inside when I notice the "likes" and comments tallying up on a post I've dropped into Facebook. It's nice to be recognized, even if it's just a fleeting, virtual nod. 

And that's what Facebook is so good at: Shamelessly exposing that we all like to be liked. 

So when I'm at a party listening as non-Facebookers wave away the social network for being a waste of time, I nod with as much understanding as I can muster. You know what, it's not for everyone... 

But I log onto Facebook as part of my job. It gives me instant access to a network where I can cheer on a colleague or friend, encourage professional recognition and motivate fitness participants to exercise - all with that ubiquitous "like" link.

And if I can make someone feel appreciated with a little "like" here and there, my time has been well spent. (Even with the thread of Facebook messages that's sure to follow.)  

What's the motivating force behind why you "like" stuff on Facebook and around the web? Or do you dislike "liking"?