In honor of the new Like button on Facebook that debuted this week — finally allowing you to finally choose between Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, Angry. TBT to a post from three years ago:
I once thought you couldn’t use the word “like” any more than we did in the 1980s. It was, like, a time when people said things like “radical” and “holy cow,” wore shoulder pads, spandex and drank Pepsi Free. “Like” was a prelude to pretty much whatever you were going to say.
Every schoolchild knew there was an important distinction between when someone “liked” you or “like liked” you, and when there were no words deep enough to express just how you felt on a subject, you could just say, “Like…yeah man.” Or if you were female, “Like…I know…right?!”
But as much as I thought the word couldn’t be overused any more than circa 1989, I think I was wrong. All you have to do now is log onto Facebook to see that like is back.
Let me preface this by saying I think I might be the queen of liking other people’s statuses. On any given day, I am prone to like Chick-fil-A, Jane Austen, NBC Nightly News, peppermint bark (YES!) and swiffers.
Not enough for you? Don’t worry, because stuff that didn’t make the cut the first time will show up in the “Stuff you might like” column, along with “people youmay know” (but clearly don’t, or you would have friended them by now) and “stories you might be interested in.” Get carried away with your likes? Don’t worry – you can “unlike” it later. And while I have quit trusting Facebook since it suggested I might like Nick Saban, I have to admit, it’s fun to like stuff.
I like to like stuff. So sue me.
“Like” is a great way to say everything from “I approve of you” or “I’m with you” to “This post made me want nachos too” or “I want a free coupon.” And when you’re being lazy, it can say everything from “You rock,” to “I think you’re clever,” “This photo is ridiculous,” “Great quote!” “I agree!” “You made me LOL” “Happy Birthday” “I shop there too!” “Yes, I’m praying for your grandmother” and a whole host of other sentiments in just one word. Publishers, songwriters and businesses now judge whether they should hire you based on your “likability.” In fact, when all this blows over, and some new word catches everyone’s fancy, I predict that we will have an entire nation of like-a-holics. Sometime in the future, we’ll all be singing, “I like the way you like me,” and “You’ve lost that liking feeling…”
How on earth is this related to spirituality?
Like, I don’t know.
Except maybe our eagerness to like stuff has cheapened something in our brains. (That was like, deep…I know.)
What I mean is, liking gives us the ability to say “I approve” without any real beef to back it up.
It’s like the hit-and-run of adjectives.
Now I might follow up my like (I’m certainly going to follow up on the peppermint bark thing), and I might not. Maybe what I meant to say was, “Wow! I’m so excited you got married—Oh look…earmuffs!”
Which are good to keep your ears warm if you are like me and you DON’T LIKE hoodies. Because that will be a button one day too – dislike – as in, thumbs down or the virtual signal for barfing on someone else’s page. But the makers of Facebook didn’t want us to be haters. They wanted us to share the love…or the like…as it were. Maybe that’s the message for today: share the like.
So if this post has made any sense to you (or if you’ve at least survived till the end of it), feel free to like it. Or if you want to show a little extra love, you can like the blog. If not, don’t worry – I won’t hold it against you.
But if you want to spread the like, I would be appreciative.
So like, will you like me already?
2016 note: R.I.P Like button…no longer are you the one-dimensional stamp of our enthusiasm.