On a like strike
Recently, a facebook, and real life, friend posted a quote from Colin Powell that has stuck in my mind and been a sentiment worthy of ponder. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity”. My response was, “facebook is supporting mediocrity”. Ironically, she pressed the “like” button.
I must admit that I get a little hit of feel good when someone, especially someone that I particularly admire or respect, presses the facebook “like” button. If we really stop and consider it, posting status updates is an interesting modern phenomenon. The Colin Powell quote has challenged me to be more thoughtful about not only what I post, but also about how I respond to others.
I am not a facebook hater. I actually believe that with certain friends and acquaintances, it is a tool to deepen relationship and get to know others on one level. It offers a form of connection with people who are far away or not in the regular patterns of life. When we do connect in person, there are more data points and places to jump off from in real live conversation. Some of my more humorous friends make me smile on days when laughter is welcomed. The pictures of celebrations, growing babies, life experiences and cool vacation destinations are inspiring and connecting at times.
But on the other side, there are facebook dangers. Questions I ask myself: Are many status updates another self centered exercise feeding the rampant narcissism in our culture? Is this just another way to prop up the people pleaser side of me – something I’m working hard to minimize? Does it lead to a type of lazy interaction with others when I can just press “like” in under a second?
So for a while now, I am going on a “like strike”. I am not allowing myself to just mindlessly press that little button. If there is something to communicate to my friend, I am going to take the few seconds or minutes required to respond with more thoughtful words. Even better, I am going to be more inspired to spend face to face time with those that I want to know more deeply. And on the flip side, I would welcome any and all of my facebook and blog reading friends to do the same. It would encourage me along the path of being content and discourage the mediocrity of trying to get others to like me. These are marks of true friendship – facebook and otherwise.