Earlier this year there were articles circulating that Facebook were considering a ‘dislike’ button for content.  There was a media explosion as the articles weighed up the merits of voting things to be graded by this realm of judgement over the more positive and carefree ‘Like’, of course there would still be a Like button, but concern was raised that the ‘Hate’ button would dominate.  This was in April, and perhaps it was a bit of fooling around.

But I believe it is possible that we do in fact have a problem with the Like button, at least by itself it is a rather powerful and binary choice, and in a complex society when we’re faced with saying something about content and we want to acknowledge it, the Like button has become synonymous with ‘you should see this too’, ‘I appreciate that’ or ‘I agree with this’.

When you post something on social media, do you ever get a little too interested in how many people “LIKE” it? by AgentXPQ

And so ‘Like’ controls the movement of information, the more likes something gets the more it moves around our collective digital conscious and there is very little filtering of what you might get; its this I suppose is a problem.  For example, I like ice-cream, but I don’t want to see ice cream everywhere I go, I know its not great to eat a lot of it and really it should be on the sparing side of my diet; this is a bit like cat videos, whilst they are funny and cute, I would prefer it if you stopped putting that in front of me – sure I should just ignore the stuff I don’t ‘like’ right, but that doesn’t always work, I still see them and they still proliferate, because everyone loves ice cream…I mean, cats (right?)  What is worse, is that once someone ‘Likes’ a thing, more people make a similar thing in a bid to join the ‘Like’ brigade.

“…we still don’t need to be horrible about our opinions but we can at least make judgements…”

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say it could perhaps be better…I propose a button that pushes our decisions on things more assertively, “was that video of value to you?”  “Was it just fun?” (Like), “enlightening?” or “useful?” – we still don’t need to be horrible with our opinions but we can at least provide a judgement on whether we believe something is of value to us as a race of people in a world that has a lot of flaming progress to make! we can still ‘like’ but maybe some of the useful stuff can get a platform.

Like just doesn’t fit most of the important content on social media, in our house we see lots of really important posts; warnings, news or important events we should be aware of and the ‘Like’ button is just not fit for purpose, it actually feels wrong to press it, so you don’t and the story or thing is not passed on as quick as the cat videos.

David Walliams and Matt Lucas as Lou and Andy in Little Britain

“I don’t like it…” | David Walliams and Matt Lucas as Lou and Andy in Little Britain

Like is miss-interpretted, over used and makes no case of how to progress our society, it makes us the equivalent of a wheelchair Andy from Little Britain….”I want that one” and moments later “I don’t like it”.  I guess this makes Mark Zuckerberg the equivalent of Lou…but we’ll not go there.

Consumption on social media taps into a frequency of our consciousness that is lazy, tired and in auto pilot – did you watch/read it (Yes?) did it make you smile (Yes?) then Like…pushed to friends…friend thinks, ooh my friend ‘Liked’ that, I’ll watch it and the cycle continues…7 million views.  Yes I know you all know this.

…Now, will you like my post?

Haha, (ahem) but seriously, if you liked this article please share it, or if you have some thoughts on the content I would love to hear from you.