Facebook users often express dissatisfaction over the limited range of options available to them for responding to posts made on their newsfeed by their ‘friends.’ (I wish there was a ‘dislike’ button! I wish I could like this a thousand times! I wish I could tell you how much I liked this!) My sympathies are with the complainers. My ‘Like’ button is terribly overworked; it does double, triple, quadruple duty; there isn’t enough granularity of expression in that atomic expression. It does not capture the range and variety of social interactions it facilitates.
This is what my Faceook ‘Like’ means:
I approve of the content of the link you have just provided. I disapprove of the content of the link you have just provided. This photograph is adorable. You said something funny. Just saying hi. Just saying bye. I am appalled. I am sorry for you. I hear you. You go girl. You go dude. Interesting; I’ll get back to you. Who cares; but you clearly do. A grunt. A guffaw. A chortle. A snicker. A snort. Thanks for the ‘Like’; here is yours. Too Long; Didn’t Read; but here is a ‘Like’ anyway. Can I look forward to a ‘Like’ from you sometime soon? I have no idea what you are talking about but you clearly seem to be fishing for attention and this is the best I can do for the moment. Consider this a goodbye present; you will soon be dropped from my newsfeed. This was a rather transparent attempt to be clever and you do this way too often, but still, you are family, so here is a ‘Like’ for you. I haven’t dropped you from my newsfeed yet? Consider this a thank you for the ‘Like’ you sent me the other day. Just chiming in; everyone else is giving this a ‘Like.’ You ‘Liked’ my baby; I’ll ‘Like’ yours. Why wasn’t I invited to this dinner party? Why wasn’t I invited to this barbecue? You have friends besides me? Who is this person you are posing with? Our friendship has been reduced to the exchange of these electronic waves which people call ‘Like’ and which I am sending your way. I hope you will ‘Like’ some of the content I post; this is the third ‘Like’ I have given you in the past week. I hope my ‘Like’ will encourage you to keep posting this bizarre shit that has so many of us so entertained, if mystified. Your kid isn’t that cute, but you are an awfully sensitive person, so here is a ‘Like.’ Hi; haven’t seen you in a while; do you come here often? This could be the first of many ‘Likes’ if you play it right. Just trying to get you over the hundred mark here. Oh, it’s you again, telling us all how much you have accomplished while we struggle to get through the day; here is your gold star. Hi; you might not know me, but we just became friends on Facebook.