Is the “Like” Button a Substitute for a Comment?

Home Forums Citizen Engagement & Customer Service Is the “Like” Button a Substitute for a Comment?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Shannon Kennedy 9 years ago.

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  • #150084

    Allison Primack

    When I was scrolling through my Twitter feed this morning, I saw one of my friend’s posts.

    It really got me thinking – with the “like” button on Facebook, and “favorite” button on Twitter – have social media websites narrowed our range of thought and interaction with our contacts? Or have they opened up a chance for us to connect in a different way?

    I think the “like” button has made it easy for me to be lazy. For example, if my sister looks beautiful in her new profile picture, instead of commenting and telling her so, I just click “like”. Ultimately it gets the same message across because I do like the picture, but in other ways it dilutes what I’m actually trying to say.

    Links are even more complicated… when you think about it, what does “like” even mean? Do you like the way it was written? Do you agree with the thoughts shared in the post?

    What are your thoughts on the “like” button on Facebook?

  • #150102

    Shannon Kennedy

    I’m with you to a certain degree. On posts where you have something you could say, but just “like” them, you really are being lazy. However, if there’s a post that you simple agree with and have no comment, it makes sense to “like” it. No need to comment “Here Here!” or “I concur!”

  • #150100

    Steve Cottle

    Depending on your e-mail settings, it’s nice to be able to “like” a post to show your support, without then receiving 50 e-mails that say “so and so also commented on your friend’s post,” which is what happens when I leave a comment (no I don’t want to change my settings!).

    I would agree about the potential danger of “liking” a link for the reasons you mention. Finding an article interesting and agreeing with its premise or argument are very different!

  • #150098

    Joshua Salmons

    The 1984 reference is interesting, isn’t it?

    I do want to stray from your topic just a little. Facebook has a lot of plans for the Like button. At their F8 Developers Conferences in SF and Austin, they laid out their vision for the Like button. They feel it’s too restrictive (although it is becoming an accepted way for people to interact as you stated). They want developers to replace Like with nearly anything, really.

    They want you to be able to say you “Purchased” something, or that you “Tried” a food recommendation, or “Cooked” a recipe–or maybe “burned” a recipe, haha.

    Personally, I do think “liking” a piece of content is a bit lazy (sort of like retweeting without comments on Twitter, though because of space constraints, it’s more acceptable there, I’d argue). But, given that people tend to operate along the paths of least resistance, mechanisms like the Like button will keep leading us down the path that you quoted. Crazy!

  • #150096

    Allison Primack

    That is really interesting, Joshua. It always slightly bugged me that there was no “dislike” button on Facebook to accompany the “like” button, but having even more options would be cool! Or maybe not, since it would take away even more incentive to add actual comments…

  • #150094

    Steve Cottle

    Interesting comments from Facebook at Whats Next DC about why no “dislike”: they want to keep it a positive environment and force those who wish to post something negative to be “committed” enough to go through the trouble of commenting, not hitting a button:

  • #150092

    Justin Kerr-Stevens

    I had completely forgotten about the Orwell quote. Really does give food for thought.

    I have some reservations about using the ‘like’ button but more from the perspective of the data I share with facebook. It just feels like another way a network can see what I’m doing and ‘tailor’ content for me.

    I do think the ‘Like’ button (and yes the ‘Awesome’ button as well) provide a quick way of showing interest in something, and if I only have a second after reading an article it’s easier. Better than nothing I guess?

  • #150090

    I’m with Shannon. I use the “like” button on Facebook when I agree with something (or — har, har — actually like it) but don’t really have anything else to add. I do, however, disagree with those who say the “like” button is not a form of endorsement. In my opinion, it is. If you like something in real life, you support it. Same thing on Facebook.

    I don’t generally “favorite” things on Twitter, but I do RT. RT’s, to me, are not endorsements because you are just passing along info. I would agree that a “favorite” serves as an endorsement, much as a “like” does. The very nature of those two words implies positive association with what is being presented.

    All in all, I think the language of social media would make an excellent sociological study … if it hasn’t already!

  • #150088

    Corey McCarren

    Yup! They believe it would drive people and companies away from Facebook if it was possible to have a ton of dislikes.

  • #150086

    William Lim

    Just FYI:

    Clicking ‘Like’ on Facebook Is Not Protected Speech, Judge Rules

    (Although I fully expect this ruling will be appealed…)

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