I don’t like your Facebook status updates any more. Nor, for the most part, your comments on your own or updates by others.
And it feels really good.
I have no doubt that my not liking some people’s posts has been noticed and gossiped about (in fact, I know for a fact it has) and that it has pissed a few people off.
I am fully aware, too, that ‘liking’ Facebook posts is ‘just the done thing’; a social norm, the behaviour that is accepted by a vast majority of society. Or, at least, those who frequent the various mediums for non-face-to-face-social interaction, and/or whom could possibly be considered ‘addicts’ or … whatever.
Alas, the repercussions of not liking posts or updates is that a revenge of sorts is sought, akin to ‘if she doesn’t like my posts, I’m not going to like hers’.
And, ooooh, the devastation. The crying and the upset and the hurt and … oh, no, wait. I haven’t noticed, sorry. Ooops.
Let me explain a little further. Months ago, quite a few now, maybe five or six, or even seven. I dunno, sometime mid-last year, a friend (and actual one, not just one on Facebook) shared an article about a person who quit liking things on Facebook.
I read said article, and though ‘hey, that sounds like it’s worth a try’. So that’s what I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t assess the outcomes or consequences of my non-likey behaviour, and therefore didn’t write my experiences down in an article. But someone else did, and the link is just up there ^.
What I did notice is that I was reading more, interacting more, and not just flicking and scrolling and tapping ‘Like’ as I went about my barely-interested, non-engaged perusing of … stuff.
And that, whilst I was in that moment, was all it was … just … stuff. I wasn’t really taking notice of what was happening for others, and I was battered day in and day out, with noise. Stuff and noise.
Just coming at me, bombarding me, and I wasn’t noticing anything.
Of course, this realisation has a flip-side; that is, if that’s how I’m interacting with my friends, regardless of their closeness, then that’s how they are treating me, too. Which kinda sucks when you think about it.
That’s not a criticism of anyone, by the way. It’s just the way things are, it’s what many of us do, and it’s relatively normal behaviour. I don’t mean to condemn, judge, or accuse, I’m not doing that. It was just something I noticed about myself, and about how people just are.
If you think about it – which is what I tend to do more often than I care to appreciate – if I’m doing it to a heap of people, and all those people are doing it back to me and a whole bunch of other people, well, it’s all a bit fucked, really.
Being a social person, the option to just opt out of social media was not – and is not – an option. It’s not that I don’t like your updates, it’s just that I don’t ‘Like’ them any more.
What I started to do was start actually reading, considering, and contemplating a response. I stopped and rather than scroll-tap-scroll-tap-repeat to the power of a lot, I slowed down, and started leaving a comment instead.
Unfortunately, and unrelated, I also fell into a bit of a hole and my ability to articulate brilliantly, wittily, and profoundly was seriously constrained. But still, I tried.
It resulted in a couple of <3, or variations of “I love this” or “that’s great news” and other, equally, profound insights. Which wasn’t my ideal, but it was something. I guess. Although, honestly, sometimes tapping ‘Like’ and moving on would probably have been best for everyone 🙂
So, I’m sorry if my not ‘Liking’ your posts has upset or offended in you in some way. Might I suggest you get over it and stop being so paranoid or turning stuff into something it’s not.
What I am pleased to have discovered is a) the people in that last paragraph appear less often in my feed, and b) I have re-established a connection with human-ness. Or humanity.
No, I think it’s the re-establishment of connects to people; as individuals, as unique identities with their own experiences and stories.
I have re-peoplelised.
And it’s pretty cool.
I’ve had some awesome conversations, learnt more about life, had my eyes opened, and my heart torn wide apart with sadness, and bursting with love and connection.
It’s taught me to keep the stuff and noise at bay, to not be so bombarded and overwhelmed by it all. And it can be overwhelming. Extraordinarily so.
So, no, I don’t ‘like’ your Facebook posts and status updates, and I don’t intend to start liking them anytime soon.
I am still to work on bettering my comments in general, and applying this same practice to platforms like Instagram.
But for now, not liking stuff has me liking more stuff a lot more.
Will you try it? Have you tried it? Talk to me (try commenting below, and not just liking, I dare you ;))