Digitalization has changed the way we behave in so many ways. And with digitalization and with digital devices the way in which people connect has changed. Talking specifically before MySpace or Facebook or any other social media platform (older or new) has appeared we used to meet our friends in the street, shops, bars and many other places. We used to greet each other, ask each other how we are doing and then move on, go on.
With the appearance of this social media platforms, things have changed, you don’t need to stop to talk with people on the street you can just stop scrolling at a certain point in your newsfeed and give a like. What does this like button mean? Well, somehow the words “I’m glad you are doing good and that you are doing something interesting” were replaced with like and scroll down to tell someone else the same thing with a simple like.
Facebook, since we are talking about likes, is now the bar, shop and the street all at once. Of course, you still meet people on the street but when meeting people on the street you are somehow obliged to say things rather than give like (Even though if we could just give like and move on we would, I think).
And as I have tested somehow how likes are distributed through my own way of posting photos I have discovered that rarely people actually meet you on the street of Facebook and say Hi (that means giving you a like). Most of the people that give you a like are the people who love you and who deeply care about you. So the fact that Facebook has introduced other options besides the Like button complicates things a little bit.
Likes on Facebook are given because of many reasons, obviously and it could mean just a like but a Like (I strongly believe) means more than just I like your photo, it comes with a message in people’s mind. So that’s why since the new options like the Love or Adore button is on Facebook is it about Like or Love?
And by that I mean why do we post? So people would like us or so people would see that we are doing fine or that we are doing interesting things and we are not just simply staying around and doing nothing? The difference is: like means randomness and love means, well, love, caring, interest (talking about the Facebook buttons) in theory, but…
The digitalization has changed cultures all over the world like doesn’t just mean like and love doesn’t mean just love at least not on Facebook. Whatever reaction button you chose to give to a person on Facebook you have a reason to actually press that button or not (and it’s not always the obvious one). And the cultural change is that ignoring someone on your newsfeed is pretty inoffensive because it is actually almost invisible because everything and everyone is on the same page and you can avoid anyone and anything. You can avoid giving any reaction while on the street if you do that immediate consequences could possibly occur, on Facebook you can re-meet that person and say everything and nothing by just giving a Like or Love or any other reaction. So to conclude if it’s about Like or Love I would say that it’s about the fact that Facebook street is the street of invisible people with dots above their heads pointing that they are alive. Somehow like in a game called, The Sims.
Raul Mihai Poias