The “Like” Diet: Going on Maintenance

It hasn’t even been a week, and already, the “Like” Diet is getting a little boring. I take great pleasure in clicking “Like” when I think no one’s looking; it’s like reaching into that big bag of chips for the third time. My friend Alice posted:

“STOP TAKING THOSE STUPID QUIZZES!!! You aren’t a dog, a playwright, a stop sign, a vegetable or a grocery bag. You can’t take an IQ test in 4 questions or determine who you were in a past life. QUITITQUITITQUITIT!!! (Now that my feed is clean, all I can see is this drivel!)”

I had a sudden, inexplicable urge to take some insipid, random Facebook quiz. “Stop telling everyone what to do, Alice. Sing ‘Let It Go,’ and fix yourself a Mint Julep, and go out on your lovely deck and look at the flowers… This, too, shall pass.”

“Oh, all right,” she conceded.

A few minutes later:

“Did you just ‘Like’ my comment?” asked Alice.

“Yes,” I wrote. “I got tired of following my own rules, let alone making up rules for others. Hey – what, you never have a SNACK when you’re on a diet?”

Anyway, after nearly a week on the “Like” Diet, I am, at least, clicking “Like” more intentionally – less reflexively. And sparingly – maybe only five or six times a day, instead of a hundred. That said, there’s a little nagging voice in my head, now, that goes: “You liked HER comment, why didn’t you like mine?” It sounds like the voice of Everyman, and it’s bugging me a little.

But I’ve been pleased to see that most of my friends have a sense of humor and are not needy, clingy, or overly hooked on the “Like” juice. No one’s unfriended me for Faceboook neglect, yet.

Amusingly, several have apologized for “Liking” my status updates or comments. Um… that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works.

At least one friend has not noticed a difference in his newsfeed. He did admit to a lack of discipline when it came to liking others’ comments. And these days, his newsfeed seems to be raising his blood pressure and causing him a lot of anger and stress. This is unfortunate, because the only conclusion I can draw from it is that he’s got a lot of friends with hostile, negative attitudes.

I suggested that he use the “I don’t want to see this” button:

It’s sort of a hidden “Dislike” that won’t start WWIII. The user who posted won’t know you “Disliked” it, and it’s not punitive, like “Report this post” – but you can still tell Facebook you don’t want to see more of it. How effective is this? I have no idea. But it seems a reasonable workaround to “Everything in my newsfeed is making me tired, cranky, and hostile” when the “Like” Diet, alone, isn’t enough.

If you’re often seeing posts shared from sources that raise your blood pressure, you could, instead, choose the “Hide all from…” option. Or you could ignore the user who keeps posting that garbage, but I’m going to assume – for now – that there was some reason you chose to be friends with them in the first place, even if their posts are currently making it hard for you to remember just what that reason was.


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 For more information on her children's books, please visit
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2 thoughts on “The “Like” Diet: Going on Maintenance”

  1. I’ll keep at it a little more. I don’t notice any significant changes yet on my news feed anyway.

    I don’t think liking a few updates will work for me. Once I clicked a post, I fear it might open a floodgate of likes.

    1. It has definitely lessened the number of lurid news stories and business blog posts I see in my feed, and increased the number of updates I see from real people and close friends.

      I think the point that was driven home in the original post that inspired me to try this was that if you click “Like” on a share of some cute cat video, FB thinks “Ah, you like animals!” but doesn’t distinguish one cute cat video from video of animals being abused or neglected. If you click “Like” on a politically liberal post, it’s a signal to certain other political parties to try to inundate you with THEIR point of view, whether you’re open to that or not. (Which is why I stopped using Google Adsense on this blog, in 2008, if you recall – they did not, back then, have the option to say “NO POLITICAL ADS” and I was suddenly seeing incredibly conservative Republican campaign ads in my sidebar – on posts that were pro-Democrat. I had no other way to say, “Get a clue!” to AdSense than to stop using it altogether.)
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