To Like or Not to Like

If you work in the creative industries online it has probably not escaped your attention that we are starting to drown under a sea of “Likes”. I’ve  been thinking about this trend of “liking” quite a bit lately. And more and more I find myself disliking it ! Its the easy way out – leave a nod but don’t engage. Or just a token click with the sole aim of ensuring a return visit ? I don’t particularly mean this with regard to blogging , but also FaceBook , Instagram, Pintrest.  Whichever site, the trend is not to comment and communicate but just to like. This feels like opting out of the possibility for proper communication. Of course, sometimes just a token sign of approval has its place, we don’t always feel the need to comment on something and “liking” gives us an alternative. But more and more it feels it has become the lazy option.

Granted, we live in this fast paced busy world, but what about trying to slow it down a little. Like slow travel on trains and buses, how about slow surfing ? Consume less but engage more ? Of course I am not immune to this either, but now I am making a real effort not to like but to comment instead. With Instagram for example, it is easy to swallow up so many images in one go that you barely register them – click , click ,click  – on to the next one. Are we looking at them or just fishing for visits ?  How about a return to that old adage – Less is More ?

Another slant to this was highlighted in this  short video by someone who is hoping to speak at the next TED talks in Amsterdam. His point is that all these likes are about social proof and if we see that 1000 people like something , then that gives its own message. But we are not getting the whole picture. In the past we got this proof from the star ratings on consumer testing websites, or on Amazon, for example. But now, when people just like, rather than give a rating we only hear the positive side. The people who didn’t like it, who would have told us this with one or two stars just fade into the distance. So what if 1000 people like it – what about the 1 000 000 who don’t ? You can see his video here.

So I’m starting my campaign – consume less and engage more. ( The sister campaign is consume less and create more – they go hand in glove I think. )

What do you think ? Do you Like to Like ?


This image was  taken and edited with an Iphone – and , by request , I am preparing a short course to share my tips and tricks . If you’d like a wee tip off when it is ready to launch you can sign up here and I will keep you informed.


13 thoughts on “To Like or Not to Like

  1. Great post Rhiannon … lots of food for thought. I am definitely one for advocating more real communication !

  2. Great food for thought. I will definitely take the time and slow down before I put my 2cents out there. As with texting, I find it so impersonal that we can’t pick up the phone anymore to speak with someone… generation of gadgets but I am old school at heart. BTW I “LOVE” you pic! Have a wonderful day! Hugs! Julie

    • Hi Julie – Yes – it might be especially us “old school” types who can remember life before “the net” who are starting to miss actual talking ! Or at least words rather than ticking boxes !

  3. I’m definitely in favour of more engagement! I try and comment still on blogs each day – those are still the best ways I know to develop relationships and connections with other people (slowly, over time).

    I didn’t like pinterest at all and left it a wee while ago – I couldn’t quite work out why, but I think (as well as all the copyright infringements) it is because it feeds on consumption of images, click, like, click. like, and it made me feel queasy after a while.

    PS Your tips and tricks sounds great – if only i had an iphone!

    • Joanna – I think you are right about blog commenting – it is that slowly slowly approach that lets you get to know people better. Pintrest and Instagram both give me that indigestion feeling of seeing too much too quickly. Like you, not too sure about Pintrest, although they seem to have tightened up on the copyright issues – I avoided it completely until after that.

      And yes, I did feel a bit concerned that doing an iphonography course was a bit excluding – a lot of my thoughts could apply to any camera – so maybe I should think about writing two strands of the same course. That would feel a bit more friendly 🙂

  4. Yes!!! lets start the slow internet movement… waving from Dublin I’ve been off line for 6 days… wow! good to come back to it slow… I broke my fast to check the times to catch the bus to the ferry port

  5. I agree that “liking” is a bit too easy and stifles communication, but sometimes I click like so the other person at least knows I’m thinking about what they posted. And after teaching all day, sometimes I’m just too tired to leave a comment!

    • Hi Roban, Thanks for commenting. And I agree, sometimes clicking like does at least let the writer know they made a connection. And I do still use “like” sometimes myself. But I’m trying for more communication 🙂

  6. I just happened upon your post here, Rhiannon, via the very lovely Ms. Conway. (I can barely wait for her course to start next month.)

    I certainly agree with you and I am making a conscious effort to consume less and engage more. (Insert a slow breath.) The whole ‘like’ thing seems as though there is even more to do and less to say and it does give us a way out of engaging properly. Whilst reading your post I decided that I certainly need to slow down a little more, take my time and stop feeling like I need to try and shove more into my day.

    (Insert another slow breath.) Thank you for the reminder. Now I’m off to read some more of your posts…and take my time doing it.

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