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Weekend Update The My Experiment Avoiding the Facebook Like Button Edition

>> Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekend Update

Several weeks ago a friend shared an article by Mat Honan entitled I Liked Everything I Saw on Facebook for Two Days. Here’s What It Did to Me. It was kind of horrifying. The impact of repeatedly using that little Like button and the results of what Facebook’s algorithms did with it was drastic.

I admit I have a love hate relationship with Facebook. It’s a time suck. It throws up obstacles right and left to seeing what the friends I want to follow post. The way pages (for example the page for this blog) work is beyond comprehension. On the other hand I have a group of close friends who live all over the country and keeping in touch with them as well and many acquaintances and relatives is much easier in Facebook than any other format so far. I’ve been rather selective regarding who I will link up with on Facebook. I don’t have current co-workers or very many people I see on a daily basis in my Friends list. I use it for people who live elsewhere or that I don’t see in person that often.

Two weeks ago Bryan from Still Unfinished and Florinda from The 3 R’s Blog both shared an article by Elan Morgan entitled I Quit Liking Things On Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity. After reading the dreadful results of liking everything I decided to find out what the results of doing the opposite might be.

Then I decided to give it a try myself. For the past two weeks I haven’t clicked on the Like button once on Facebook. It’s so easy to breeze through the feed and click “Like” on posts or status updates without really putting any thought into it. If I wanted to acknowledge something that I truly liked I made myself write out a comment. Sometimes it was a lot and other times it was just a quick word or two.

Did it change the makeup of my Facebook feed? I have no idea. Did it change the way I interacted with my friends on Facebook? Absolutely. I was actually having conversations and enjoying it. I was telling folks exactly what I liked about their post, photo or status update rather than clicking that button and forgetting it.

Yes a comment rather than a Like will trigger notifications and in most cases after a couple of them I was ready to bow out of the conversation. I made generous use of the turn off notifications process but truly that was a small inconvenience to feeling more engaged and interactive with my friends from around the country and world.

I encourage you to read both of the articles I have linked above and think about whether the Like button is killing conversation as well as manipulating what you see on Facebook.

Will I completely give up the Like button for good? I doubt it because in some cases it truly is all the interaction I want to have with a Facebook posting. Also with pages it’s the only way to follow. I will however continue to limit the times where clicking a button is the extent of the conversation or engagement.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!


Les 8/31/2014 5:16 PM  

Great food for thought! I know I click that "like" button far too often. And, I too have a love-hate relationship with FB. I think everyone does. Have you read David Egger's The Circle? Makes me think twice about social media, although I doubt I'll give it up. Yes, my name is Lesley and I'm addicted to FB.

Beth F 9/03/2014 5:09 AM  

I never did get into the facebook thing. I don't quite understand it -- like why does it keep changing my setting from "recent posts" to "top stories." And how does it know what my top stories are since I almost never use the like button? I post my reviews over there and that's about it.

Trish 9/09/2014 10:54 AM  

It's almost like "Like" has become a bad habit. When I first started FB I HATED that like button (wait, it wasn't always there, was it?) but as time went on it was just a quick way to say "I'm here!" Same with Instagram. I finally deleted the FB app off my phone a week or two ago and haven't missed it.

But you make a great point about connecting and how we do it these days.

SuziQoregon 9/13/2014 12:17 PM  

Les: It was an interesting experiment. I don't think I'll stop using the Like button completely but I will continue to make more real comments.

BethF: I rely on Facebook for keeping in touch with friends all over the country. I actually have very few local people in my feed.,


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