Why I don’t like the LIKE button

I am going to start with a caveat – I am not on Facebook.  By personal preference, I have fundamental issues with the security of your data among many other things.  I know that FB does have a LIKE button and I can hazard a guess that getting lots of LIKES is your own personal prize for posting something deemed worthy.

But this isn’t FB.  It isn’t me posting a photo of my cat sleeping in a funny pose that I took with my smartphone in bad lighting.  Or of my friends partying in a dodgy club or an endless series of baby photos.  Whatever.

This is a blog about photography, specifially my personal journey and experiences.  I share them in the hope they entertain some and educate others, and hopefully even both at once! Yet within *minutes* of posting at ungodly hours of the morning (even around the world) I get LIKE notifications.  Usually I get a lot of LIKEs, and sometimes a comment, and sometimes a subscription.

What I wonder is, are the people pressing the LIKE button even reading my posts?  Is it more like a popularity contest, the more LIKEs you give, the more you get back?  Am I missing the point somehow, should I be pleased that I get these responses when I am not really sure that the content is being rewarded for anything more than exisiting?

Imagine I spend a lot of time and effort cooking a meal for someone, and they come up and tell me it looks and smells amazing, and therefore must be, but ……… they don’t actually eat it.  So how could they know?  That is what it feels like when I get a lot of likes on a post immediately after I post it.

Maybe you are all brilliant and really fast readers, I don’t know.  Maybe I am stingy and I only press the LIKE button when I find a post I think worthy of actually liking. I do only LIKE posts I thought met a certain standard or had a particular point, were extra funny or educational.  Maybe I am the wrong generation and don’t understand that rewarding someone just for making an effort is the point.

Please don’t consider me ungrateful, no not at all.  Everytime someone comments I am delighted, and try and respond in kind.  Everytime I get a new subscriber I feel that my efforts have some worth. Each weekend I dedicate time to catchup on the blogs I subscribe to, and make comments where appropriate.  I look at Freshly Pressed and sometimes read them.  I try and interact with the WP community in a positive way, and I try to contribute.

So don’t take this wrong when I ask ” if you don’t read my post, or if you do read it and you don’t find it worthy of your personal standard then DON’T press that LIKE button ”

I will not think any less of you at all, in fact I would appreciate it more that you put some thought into it, and made a judgement call as you saw fit.  Should you feel moved enough to comment I will have to restrain myself from thanking you profusely for making the time and effort to do so.

No doubt many of you think I am ungrateful and grumpy, maybe so.  I can’t help but wonder how soon I will get the first LIKE on this post tho 🙂  (Edit:  About a minute)

2nd Edit to add:  I didn’t consider the concept that people are busy and time is precious and the LIKE button is a very quick easy way to show your appreciation, one click and it’s done. I understand if that option is one you prefer because it is so quick and easy, LOVE that you read my post and responded in a way that suits you. Thankyou for taking the time to do so, to all those who do!


About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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12 Responses to Why I don’t like the LIKE button

  1. I have read your post to the end of it. ))

    • lensaddiction says:

      So you win the superfast and brilliant reader category then! Thanks for letting me know, you were my first responder in case you were wondering 🙂

  2. I agree with you there. My blog is about my photography and I like interacting with my readers and knowing their thoughts and what they enjoyed etc. A “like” cannot give you that. Maybe change the like button to a rating button instead? To give a more thorough idea? I enjoy reading peoples posts, all the way through. (Unless it’s boring then I give up and move on!)

    • lensaddiction says:

      Yes! thankyou for clarifying that – I don’t know WHY they liked it! I didn’t know you could change the like functionality to a rating button. I guess I better look in the settings section 🙂 Thanks your reply was really helpful.

  3. Katrina says:

    Our culture increasingly seems to be moving toward “sound bite” versions of communication rather than more meaningful communication. I think LIKE buttons are part of that. They let people express a shallow opinion quickly. Sometimes a shallow, quick opinion is appropriate but it sure doesn’t lead to any meaningful discussion.

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thankyou another thoughtful insight that I guess I was drifting around the edges of in my post. I agree, its nice that people make the effort but you are left wondering how much impact it really has I guess.

  4. mississhippi says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts but don’t always have time to sit and write a response – my daughter is usually not too far away and always finds it very important to ask me something when I’m on the net or on the phone :), or my bed is calling as I haven’t had time to sit down at the PC all day. Today, I am sitting quietly reading blogs and responding when what I read inspires me to write something. Sometimes, I just like to read the blogs and not interact at all, and just absorb everything I’m reading, that’s when the like button is most useful to me. I can say to the blog owner ‘Hey, I like what you’ve written’ or ‘I like the picture you’ve posted today.’ Lately, I haven’t even had time to sit and post on my own blog let alone make comments on someone else’s 🙂 The lead up to end of school and Christmas takes me away from the PC for long periods of time – which I don’t regret at all. (I also hate trying to write comments from my phone if I have time to read whilst out and about – the Like button is very useful then too)

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thankyou for making the effort for a thoughtful and reasoned post. I understand the time limitations people have, there are plenty of things to interrupt or distract us, so the Like button is a quick and easy response option. I respect and appreciate that and thank all who do so for their efforts.

      But 4 Likes in less than a minute of posting a blog post? Or the same user always liking EVERY post. I do have to wonder if they actually ever read them!

      I hate using my phone for browsing as well, its just clunky 😦

      • nzrileynz says:

        I agree, often I’ll ‘like’ something due to time restraints, but there are those that use it rather freely. It’s hard to know which are which! Sometimes I’ll comment AND like because I enjoyed the post so much 🙂

      • lensaddiction says:

        And I really appreciate the comments!

  5. Ha! just been working through your post’s ‘liking’ on the way, when I read this. You are so right – but sometimes I don’t comment when I feel that a level of work is far greater than I have achieved thus far, so for me a ‘like’ is the same as saying I really enjoyed that picture.
    Just read through this reply and it has struck me that I could ask on the pictures I like what settings etc were used to get that result. So back to my comment – you are so right!

    • lensaddiction says:

      Thanks, wait til you get to my “Why I will never be FP” post, thats more than a bit embarrassing now, but the sentiment behind why I wrote it still applies.

Love to hear your thoughts on my post!

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