If You Like It, Better Put a Share on It

Facebook discourages creativity. In fact, I’d say that the Facebook has conditioned us all to chase the affirmation of a “Like,” which has a deleterious effect on our courage in speaking out on unpopular topics – our courage in going against the herd or writing on topics that are less “popular.” There are studies on “what gets shared most on Facebook.” We read them, and it’s hard not to get caught up in trying to follow the playbook – whether we are marketing a product or service or just there to have fun. We play it safe; if 10,000 people have “Liked” a post, or “Shared” a post, it must be popular. Maybe it’ll get us a seat at the cool kids’ table, if we share it, too.

https://www.facebook.com/HollyJahangiri/posts/10153226985416759?pnref=story

Facebook discourages creativity. As friends see friends share celebrities’ posts, radio stations’ memes, news outlets’ “breaking news” – while liking but not sharing their friends’ posts – it could leave a person thinking, “Why don’t I just find a cute cat video to post? What’s the point?”

Remember that when you see articles on tech magazines urging you not to “Like” anything. “Like” the stuff you know originated with your friends – trustworthy people who create content and want you to share it. Stop “Liking” the emotionally manipulative, chain-yanking, commercial stuff – God doesn’t torment people who don’t get enough “Likes” or “Amens.” Zuckerburg doesn’t give his fortune away to the lucky few who “Like” a post by midnight claiming that he will. Before sharing a post with the idea of winning something, make sure it came from a verified account (click this link to see the United Airlines verified Facebook page, and note the white checkmark in a blue circle next to the name):

 

But ultimately, be skeptical, not paranoid. Ask yourself: Is this true? Is it fair? Is it funny – or is it funny at someone else’s expense?  In the end, though, like what you like, and if you love it, share it.

And support your friends more than you support strangers.

 

HollyJahangiri

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at http://amazon.com/author/hollyjahangiri. For more information on her children's books, please visit http://jahangiri.us/books.
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25 thoughts on “If You Like It, Better Put a Share on It”

  1. Well, I share what I like, and say what I like. I’ll be 60 this month, may have another 5-6 years in me, and so, I will say and do as I please. And when I am gone, kindly bury me upside down….

      1. Well, I have never been to China, and like Chinese food. So one can never tell. Besides, if I become a Zombie…. Better I claw downwards, right? (Oh, a good story there for you! A nasty, mouthy, goadish little person gets his come-uppance when buried in a nasty way!)

    1. I like Facebook fine. It is what it is; it is a platform. It is not our “friend,” and it doesn’t owe us anything more than it ever promised us. Nor do we owe it – sometimes we owe it less than it takes, but the same could be said, by Facebook, of some of its users. Ultimately, though, it just is.

      I’m not a fan of the way some of us use it, and that goes for me, too, sometimes. It can make us lazy, jaded, cynical, and mindlessly repetitive – IF WE LET IT. It’s not doing anything to us, really, just facilitating our lesser and greater urges. It’s a tool. If I use a hammer to build a house – or to bash my neighbor over the head – no one credits or blames the hammer. (Guns are different, but it’s really the way they’re marketed and sold and the fact that they clearly aren’t designed to do anything but kill things that’s at the heart of that difference. Ultimately, the good or evil of a thing rests with the one using it.)

      Sometimes, Facebook itself does facilitate some odd things – again, the value or “evil” of a thing depends on your own perspective:

      http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/11/how-the-cia-uses-social-media-to-track-how-people-feel/247923/

      http://www.digitaltrends.com/web/nsa-pretended-facebook-spread-malware/

      Just about everything (including the dreaded chemical, dihydrogen monoxide) is a double-edged sword: One edge could provide life-saving neurosurgery, while the other cuts off the patient’s head. It’s up to humans to figure out how to use tools ethically and protect themselves against those who don’t.

  2. I try to be selective on my “Likes” but occasionally I get carried away on my “shares”! As soon as I find out my shares are not correct, I delete them.

    1. Sharing from here is always correct. 🙂

      Seriously, though, I do the same – I’m not being mean when I send you and others off to Snopes, I’m doing what I hope everyone will do for me, if I share inaccurate info. We all goof sometimes (it’s getting harder and harder not to, with so many sites confusing “satire” with outright LIES). If I ever joined the dark side… well, YOU know. Imagine pygmies, but…on PURPOSE. ::shudder:: No one wants that.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Gratitude and a ListMy Profile

  3. Hey Holly,

    I know where you’re coming from. I must admit I love getting the likes and such but that isn’t why I post there. Actually I usually don’t do much on Facebook unless it’s promoting one of my posts.

    I do remember sharing something that I agreed with and my wife tells me off for poetical political stuff on Facebook and I just thought to myself WTF! I did have a bit of a conversation with someone who said I shouldn’t be posting that sort of stuff. I just politely disagreed. Must admit not many likes on that share 😉

    Still, I feel Facebook should be more about sharing what you honestly believe in than just writing BS to get likes.
    Peter recently posted…Creating An Online Shopping StoreMy Profile

    1. Well, I may have been too subtle. My mom used to say that “We treat strangers better than we treat our own family and friends.” I wish that we’d try to share our friends’ posts (I’m guilty, too!!) MORE often than we share the gossip and news that everyone’s surely seen by the time we share it, or the viral meme or joke that everyone’s seen. Those are “safe” shares and make people feel popular when all their friends like and share them some more, but I tend to think of them as decorative, mass-produced prints on the wall. I wish people would share my blog posts (when they have read and enjoyed them!) or a link to my Amazon page or a drawing or – something. If it’s public and shareable, it’s MEANT to be shared, and it’s just a nice thing to do. Some of us aren’t into spamming or joining huge blogging networks or whatever – but we’d like readers, too. 🙂
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Bad Attitude BloggingMy Profile

      1. OK, I’m not sure why it autocorrected as poetical as it was supposed to be posting?.

        What your mom says is true, I’ve said the same about my kids lol.

        Personally I’m resigned to not getting my fair share of shares 😉 I have to admit though, it makes those rare occasions when someone does share much more special. 🙂
        Peter recently posted…Job Search A WassupBlog ServiceMy Profile

      2. Well, you know why I don’t share some of your stuff. 🙂 (The lottery posts, and such. Texas law is a little funny about that.) Anyway, I don’t have a “fair share.” It just baffles me a little that people will share stuff that’s already “proven” before they’ll help a friend promote a blog post or a book. It’s not about having a “fair share.” It’s just something that’s been piquing my curiosity, lately. (If I were one of those “bad attitude bloggers,” I’d think nobody liked my stuff enough to share it. But I’m not and I don’t, so it’s just interesting.)

        And I thought NOTHING of “poetical political posting” – I thought maybe you were writing naughty political limericks! (Now that I think about it, I might share them if you did! LOL Well, depends on HOW naughty. I try to keep this site teen friendly, at least.)

  4. What annoys me to no end is that so many of my friends post illogical and often angry snippets of information. I shake my head and wonder why these people are so gullible to pick up on party line talking points. It seems to me these people are just pawns spreading illusion and lies. For the rare posts that I like and want to share, I feel it’s imperative to put my own comment ahead of it, basically to tell my friends why I want to share this piece of information with them.
    Todd Kruse recently posted…untitled 1.06.16My Profile

    1. I agree. I’m sometimes lazy about it, myself, but when I don’t add my own intro explaining my position or why I’m sharing, it’s usually, “Hey, I’m tossing this out there into the world – you have any thoughts on it?” It’s not necessarily an endorsement. What becomes clear, though, is that most people (even my very smart, thoughtful Facebook friends – and they truly are way above the average judging from what I’ve seen posted by others I’m not connected to) – most people skim. They don’t even skim the article; they read the headline, form an opinion based on it and the featured image (which may not even be related), and blurt out comments that clearly demonstrate they haven’t read the thing.

      I like your thoughtful commentary on things you share, by the way. You do a good job of setting the stage for a civilized discussion or debate, presenting things you do and don’t agree with and asking for different perspectives. Moderating that isn’t for the faint-hearted. I think that most people who complain about Facebook make the mistake of assuming all their “Friends” think the same way they do (or ought to – and if not, will at least support their opinions and validate their feelings 100% of the time). The WORLD doesn’t work that way – why should Facebook? If you are going to shrink from the duties of a moderator, you should stick to posting things that are safe and uncontroversial (and that usually means boring as all hell, after a while). The only things there that really offend me are ad hominem attacks (with mild exceptions for reprehensible public figures with enough power to HURT us) and whining when people don’t get their way or someone doesn’t make nice. And by “make nice” I mean “haul out the rubber stamp and say ‘Oh, aren’t you brilliant? I totally agree.'” I like people to BE nice – as in compassionate enough to TRY to see the other’s point of view and not whip out the sharpened fountain pen at the first shot and try to draw blood.
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Bad Attitude BloggingMy Profile

  5. Holly, I don’t expect people to share those posts. You do know that those posts aren’t aimed at US citizens don’t you?

    heck they don;’t even share my posts when I show off my poet skills, which I suppose says a lot for how good a poet I am 😀
    Peter recently posted…Story Of Christmas A Christmas PoemMy Profile

    1. Actually, I didn’t know that.

      I think you make it even more challenging for your readers than I do, Peter – you’ve got faith based poetry, lottery, online money-making, scary poetry, blogging sonnets, sexist jokes (some of which are funny) – all on one blog. I’m not sure that the folks your Christmas poems appeal to want to be seen ogling the pretty girls (it’s too much like two Baptists meeting in the liquor store on Saturday).

      You competing with me on the no-niche niche, thing?
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Gratitude and a ListMy Profile

  6. OK, I’ll give you the faith based poetry but who doesn’t like scary poetry on Halloween 😉

    Faith aside I still like admiring the pretty ladies and I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

    With Wassupblog I like to include anything and everything. I do have niche blogs, like the lottery ones and the sports betting one. During the last Powerball the two lottery blogs went wild. Heaps of traffic and heaps of new members. Also the best month ever turnover wise.
    Peter recently posted…Funny Santa JokesMy Profile

    1. Oh, don’t misunderstand me – I can’t keep up with a bunch of single topic “niche” blogs, myself. And many Baptists like God, sex, and naughty jokes, too. They just don’t necessarily want them all in one place. It’s a bit jarring to look into THAT mirror. 😉

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