When a “Like” is not enough

The writer posits a strange, but practical question: what if the interface of WordPress (the Like button, for example) just isn’t enough or even quite appropriate for a heartfelt story or tragedy? A simple comment would be thoughtless. Silence is dull pain. Like just seems to make it a spectacle to be seen.

It hits at the core of human interaction nowadays. With social programming like Facebook and Twitter, there are fewer and fewer nuances of language that penetrate discussions and dialogues. Symbols do not fully express the gravity of a word, primarily how it is structured, how it is said, and the context it was said on. And tweets sometimes do not fully complete the thought or emotion of a statement.

Are we forced by artificial interaction to suppress complex emotions? Do we go around expressing ourselves through simple algorithms, and as automatons using simple functions?

As for me, solidarity is signified by propagation of the statement (this blog post), and a statement of support, which places it in the context of a deeper social crisis.

2 Responses

  1. To Like someone’s tragedy goes against what we understand Like to be, but Liking that they shared it helps me to Like things I otherwise wouldn’t.

    We have to redefine Like if it is to remain as the sole, non-comment choice. Friend has already been redefined; we accept that there is a difference between friend as we traditionally understand it and friend as it applies to Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, and others. I have online friends whose face I have never seen and whose name I only know by pseudonym, but our friendship couldn’t be if it weren’t for that. But my real life friends, they wouldn’t be if I didn’t know their face and name.

    Maybe we need an “Engaged” button for when we don’t like something but have been affected by it.

  2. To Like someone’s tragedy goes against what we understand Like to be, but Liking that they shared it helps me to Like things I otherwise wouldn’t.

    We have to redefine Like if it is to remain as the sole, non-comment choice. Friend has already been redefined; we accept that there is a difference between friend as we traditionally understand it and friend as it applies to Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, and others. I have online friends whose face I have never seen and whose name I only know by pseudonym, but our friendship couldn’t be if it weren’t for that. But my real life friends, they wouldn’t be if I didn’t know their face and name.

    Maybe we need an “Engaged” button for when we don’t like something but have been affected by it.

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