I recently saw a Facebook post that really tugged at my heart strings because I could sense the sincerity and vulnerability behind it. It read something like this…
“It may not mean much to most but to me it’s hurtful when I have “friends” on Facebook that never like anything I post; ever! The really sad part is some of these friends are family members too. I understand a lot of my friends don’t use Facebook as frequently as I do, but I’m talking about the ones that do. I “like” your posts and enjoy following your life, just know it doesn’t go unnoticed that you don’t seem to value me as a friend or appreciate the things I share. What really hurts the most are the posts about my baby daughter. It sucks when I like pictures of your kids, weddings, vacations, engagements, etc. and you don’t bother to like mine back.”
The truth is “likes” do matter and behind every post is a real live human being who has something “important” in their world to say or share. On the receiving end of that post however is another real live human being who has the “power” (strong word but relevant) to either approve (like) or disregard/ignore (sometimes a disguise for dislike) what we have to say or share. Another truth about Facebook is news feeds travel so quickly that sometimes our friends and family members don’t even see our posts to be able to like them! And then there is the oversharing on Facebook…people who feel the need to post about any and everything…literally TMI…OMG! We’re certainly not obligated to “like” or comment on everything these people share and it’s sometimes best if we “disregard” (ignore) and continue scrolling through the news feed.
I believe that the most important obligation we have as members of any social media community is to be kind, respectful and considerate of other people and what they have to share. Sometimes if I happen to notice that someone in my friend group has posted something meaningful and relevant to them and only one or two people have liked it, I make a point to like it too because it’s a kind thing to do. It’s like a smile; it cost me nothing but the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger tip to possibly brighten someone’s day.
We all have different motivations for engaging in social media but primarily it’s to connect with others. I set up my Facebook account approximately nine years ago but I only became active on it in the last couple of years mainly due to my blog. I have to be brutally honest with you however in that one of the first things I do every morning when I get on my computer is go to my blogging website to see how many visits I had to my site the night before. I then go to my business Facebook page to check my posts reach and to see how many page “likes” I have. Recently I lost a couple of page likes and I was mildly devastated because I’m trying to grow my audience; not lose my audience! When this happens I immediately start to wonder who doesn’t like my work. And then I remember that I have a public business Facebook page and I have “likes” from people that I don’t even know; some outside of the U.S. so it could be anyone. The next thing I do is check my personal Facebook page to see if I have been “unfriended” by anyone or if I have received any new “friend” requests. If I’ve lost a friend my mind starts to wonder who it could be. Did I offend someone? Who doesn’t like me? Spoiler alert…not everyone is going to like you and they’re not going to like everything you post. Even though the sting is real because I’m human, I have to move on and not allow it to make me crazy; it’s all a part of being in the social media game.
Personally I enjoy being part of a community comprised of people that I grew up with, people that I went to church and school with, people that I work with, family members and friends. If you are in my “friend” group it’s because we’ve shared a moment, a memory or a space in time; it’s not a numbers game for me. I remember working late on my birthday recently and how much it warmed my heart to come home that cold January night and sit in front of my computer reading all of the birthday greetings and well wishes from each of you. It was a perfect day!
So yes Facebook friends, “likes” do matter.