Friday, 4 October 2013

I, like, like this.

I turn to my sister and very subtly indicate my phone. "He liked my photo," I whisper, hardly able to contain my joy. She nods, smiles, acknowledges the importance and gravity of the liking. She gets it. Then, from the next room, I hear my mother shout: "it doesn't mean anything, honey!"


As dumb and immature as it sounds, likes mean something to me. I'm well aware that a like only takes a matter of seconds and even the faintest most half-hearted click can become one; it could mean absolutely nothing to them, but it means the world to me. I know people who will deliberately 'like' a certain other person's every post, photo and check-in, simply because they want their name to appear on their home screen and therefore in their mind. Shameless, really, but we all do it every now and again. There is one person whose statuses I never 'like', purely because of an age-old grudge based on him once saying I was an obsessive liker... There's a person whose posts I am cautious about liking, in case he gets the wrong idea. There's another person who I throw a big 'like' at every now and again to remind her that I'm always here for her.
I also notice the people who habitually 'like' my posts, the ones who only occasionally do, and those who definitely don't. It's always the usual suspects, the people I can count on to smile when they see some kind of update from me.
I see the guys who are forever liking this one girl's photos - usually of her getting ready for a night out, dressed to fuck kill, making them stare and absolutely knowing it. In the end, I hid her completely from my homepage. I won't encourage her with my likes. 

I was once told "I don't like a lot of your posts, because I don't want to seem too keen." To which I so wanted to respond: "But they make me smile. Don't you want to make me smile?"

I can always tell when likes are just a cheap ploy, a casual invitation, a nod and a wink.
And I notice when the likes go away. Whether it's loss of interest, change of heart, lack of follow-through - it happens, and I see it. It's a shame, posting something on Facey B, Tumblr or even Insti (especially Insti) and not seeing your favourite liker appear in the corner of the screen. Not getting an email to let you know they favourited your tweet.
I like to think that I'm exempt from the liking politics; that I will always 'like' something, regardless of who posted it. But that's a lie. I have been known to keep scrolling, to physically stop myself, purely because of a silly old grudge. A 'dislike', maybe. Once or twice, I've even not wished someone a Happy Birthday on Facebook because I didn't feel they deserved it.

To reiterate the unfortunate truth, likes mean something to me. They make me smile, they make me sing while washing up, they make me run upstairs and tell my housemates. So bear this in mind when you're hovering, wondering whether to click. 

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