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The “Like” Diet

The “Like” Diet: A Two-Week Cleanse

I’m not one for fad diets. But I’m going on a two-week cleanse, a short fast wherein I will consciously avoid “Liking” things on Facebook.

I may have to share and comment more. Or ignore that which doesn’t particularly inspire more than a passing “Like.” Egads.

This has already proven surprisingly difficult to do – mainly because I worry that without the little head-nod of a passing “Like,” my friends will think I don’t love them anymore.

Horsefeathers. My friends are not insecure or needy.

“Like” is tepid. It’s an effortless nod of acknowledgement. And yet it can be interpreted as everything from “I see you” or “I hear that!” to “I agree!” or “Ditto!” or “Yay, attaboy! You POSTED something! Aren’t you brilliant! Want a cookie?”

In other words, frankly, we have no idea what someone’s “Like” really means, anyway. But it has become the smile of two strangers passing in the hallway, a sign of acceptance, the tacit acknowledgment of our existence, if nothing else.

It’s attention. Without at least a “Like,” we feel ignored. We live for the “Like.”

That can’t be healthy.

Facebook – and advertisers – eat this stuff up, as if it actually does mean something. I suppose, if you look at it that way, it’s an argument to just keep right on indiscriminately “Liking” everything. Nothing like confusing them with more noise, right?

But I don’t really mind targeted advertising. I’d rather they got it right. It’s not as if they’re going to stop trying, so why would I want them to clutter my ad-stream with things that will never interest me? Anyone who expects or appreciates “free” Internet needs to understand that something, someone, has to pay the bills for that. This is why I don’t block ads. But until someone offers a triple-your-money-back guarantee, I won’t be buying anything that offers to enlarge body parts I don’t have.

The “Like” Diet? It’s an experiment. And I hope you’ll join me. Yes, because misery loves miserable company – but more importantly, so we can share our experiences in a couple of weeks and compare notes.

The “Like” Diet: Day One, Over Coffee

“Like” withdrawal is hard. My index finger reflexively moves to the left mouse button every time I read a status update or a comment on something I’ve shared. My main worry, of course, is that friends who have become so used to my “Liking” everything will think I’m mad at them, or maybe that I’ve died. Will they see an update on my wall and think I’ve been hacked or replaced by alien clones?

Maybe not, if I comment. I used to comment on everything. Lately, that seems like a Herculean effort. Why? Because clicking “Like” has become an easy, lazy out.

Has Facebook turned me into a slacker “Friend”? Already, I don’t recognize myself in the glow of the monitor. My hand’s shaking.

A Case of the Munchies: Mid-Afternoon Update

This morning’s link-bait analogy to dieting is surprisingly accurate. Like any bad habit, part of what makes it so hard not to click “Like” is simply remembering that you have resolved not to do it. It has become as natural as breathing, but hardly as necessary.

So far, I’ve clicked “Like” about four times today. That I know of. Still, I have no doubt that on any other day, the total would be closer to 50-100.

I can definitely relate to this:

I would love to hear your experiences with the “Like” Diet; please share in the comments section. By the way, at last check, this post had been “Liked” 39 times. That’s not an entirely accurate measure, though, since every share of the link, on Facebook, gets counted as a “Like.” I won’t count those if you don’t. 🙂

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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2 Responses to “The “Like” Diet”

  1. Roy
    Twitter:
    says:

    Like can be superficial sometimes, especially on a blog post link. I get likes on my links but I don’t get comments on my posts. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure that one, does it?

    Sometimes, unfortunately, a Facebook Like is the second thing that one can get. Second to nothing, that is.
    Roy recently posted…I used to be a blogger.My Profile

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