Carlos Fenollosa

Carlos Fenollosa

Engineer, developer, entrepreneur

Carlos Fenollosa — Blog

Thoughts on science and tips for researchers who use computers

What's up with disliking Liking?

January 10, 2016 — Carlos Fenollosa

Twitter recently changed their faves for likes with much controversy and bashing Facebook's Likes is already a meme. What's up with disliking Liking?

Are we more narcissistic than ever? Maybe we are. Public image has always been important for two groups: public figures and teenagers.

I find myself lucky to have been a teenager in a world without social media. Otherwise, everyone could have been my adolescent cringe-inducing posts that were lost in private ICQ and MSN chats.

People need to feel important, and the new coolness ranking is social media Likes. Years ago, it was (paper) facebook notes and signatures. That's how the world works now, and we can only react to it, not change it.

Us adults tend to frown upon a teen posting a vaguely suggestive picture for their friends to Like but can't seem to enjoy a vacation unless we're sure all our coworkers are green with envy at our beach pictures. We can't start eating until everyone has uploaded a pic of its dish to Instagram as if waiting till mom finishes her prayer.

Technology is always ahead of society. It takes some time for people to adjust to new customs. We added "texting" to the list of things that are rude while dining at a table, then allowed some exceptions for important messages. We considered that leaving a meeting for a phone call is unprofessional, then accepted that people can have legitimate reasons.

Some will eat their dishes cold for some ♥s; others will unhealthily link their self-esteem to a particular threshold of Likes, and people will publicly mourn their dead in exchange for some sympathy.

In the end, liking somebody's content is a way of showing that you care about that person. Sympathy makes us human. Some will argue that private things should be kept hidden, but what's wrong if broadcasting their lives make people happy?

Everyone has their individual reasons for providing a Like or not; likewise, they are free to choose whether to publicize a personal event or not. Those who advertise all their illnesses on Facebook are no different than grandmas who go to the park and compete with other grandmas in the so-called ailment Olympics.

People need sympathy; Likes is just the channel that we use in the 2010s to provide it.

Tags: internet, life

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