Facebook has gone to a lot of trouble to add “Like” as part of their brand. Apparently, they are still fighting about it in court. I guess they don’t own the word, just the button but even there, I think they messed up. They didn’t need a button; they needed a bunch of buttons. You simply can’t “Like” everything.
Given the stuff people put on Facebook, pressing “Like” is often a problem. Some of the things my friends have posted recently include:
“My son has the flu”
“My wife’s father passed away”
“I cut my hand (complete with pictures)”
“I dropped a nearly full bottle of beer”
I can’t “Like” any of those.
So, I find myself starting comments with phrases like: “I couldn’t bring myself to like this, but I’m glad you posted…”
You would think that Facebook and others could offer a wider range of buttons. Some that I would like to see include:
Thanks for researching this – I would click on that when I read each installment of a blog friend’s blog about the shooting death of a policeman in Los Angeles back in the 1920’s. I find it weird clicking the like button for those posts. These posts aren’t on Facebook, but I’m not sure how the “Like button” works, it may go back to them. I like his writing style, I like his research skills and I like his attention to detail. I don’t like the idea of policemen getting shot. Hopefully Facebook or whoever is counting the likes gets that right.
Glad you survived / aren’t hurt worse / didn’t lose your finger / can still count to 10 – anything so I don’t have to click “Like” when a friend sticks his hand in a snow blower. Several years ago, I cut my finger on my table saw. I wasn’t using Facebook much, but I got a lot of comments on Twitter. No “Like” button there. Some people used the +1 deal (does Google own that or is that public domain?) on other peoples’ thoughts but mainly they just said stuff. Stuff like “I’m so sorry” (that might make a good button) or “OMG, I hope you’re OK!” Of course my close friends also went to great lengths to link me to our mutual friend who had done the snow blower thing.
Thinking of you / keeping you in our prayers / hoping for the best or something to use when someone posts something that seems dark and foreboding.
Then again, maybe we don’t need buttons, or emoticons, or +1’s; maybe we don’t need to categorize our emotion in these cases at all. Seriously, who benefits from those Likes? Facebook more than us, I think. Clicking that button allows them to associate us with a trend, a product, a thought that they may or may not be tracking today or at some point in the future. I don’t really want to be boiled down into a Facebook stew of people who appear to like cancer or snow blower injuries or broken beer bottles.
Actually, when I look at the short list of things that I said I’d like buttons for, I see a striking resemblance to the categories of greeting cards that are available. I take back my request. I do not want more buttons. I have spent hours (over time) standing in front of the rack of greeting cards only to wonder:
“Is it me, or do the people that write these things not understand real relationships?”
I mean some of the stuff they want me to sign off on and hand to my wife can be filed under “crazy talk” and would likely provoke a very strange look if I gave one to her. It’s no wonder I tend to get her Snoopy® cards. In fact, I’ve been known to find a card that has the sentiment that I’m looking for, cross out the designated event / occasion and write in my own. That says
“I cared enough to buy you a Hallmark™ but they didn’t have one that made any sense.”
I could see getting a “Blank inside” Thank You card and writing a note about how I appreciated the work you did on researching an article that I enjoyed reading. I could see getting a Snoopy™ Get Well card and maybe adding a short note about the snow blower. The same goes with Thinking of You cards. Actually, lately, thinking of you cards seem to be the hardest to buy. I’ve looked for these recently, and they always tend to include things like “in your time of great need” or “as you struggle with…” Really? Isn’t it possible that I’m just thinking of someone and that’s it, or that they have a minor need but I’m still thinking of them?
Some would argue that the original subject doesn’t belong on Facebook. They may be right, but it’s not for me to say what my friends put out there. If they choose to put something in the social media stream, I can ignore it / them or I can try to respond. I’m going to go with the trying to respond thing, I just hope I get it right.