Do you just ‘like’ me or do you REALLY like me?
Regular visitors to my blog may have noticed that I’ve suddenly become much more popular. My recent posts are followed by charming little thumbnail shots of people who say they ‘like’ them.
Some of those people are lying. You know who you are. Unfortunately I don’t.
Some of you don’t really like me; you’re just saying that. Some of you are merely being polite (nothing wrong there), but others are hoping I’ll be curious about who you are, visit your blog and push your ‘Like’ button. When I do, your blog registers one more ‘hit’ and it looks as if we’re all booming bloggers. Hit for tat ‘liking’.
These Weekly Photo Challenges encourage phony liking. The idea is that bloggers will get inspired by the given theme, post a photo or some well chosen words, then rush around clicking on the list of others who’ve done likewise.
I’ve been doing just that myself. After I upload my thoughtfully selected photos, I trawl through other sites to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with. Of course there’s a lot of dross, but there are also gems. It’s fun, and by doing this I’ve found a few new bloggers every week with whom I share a connection. It’s gratifying if they also recognize this and respond to my comments.
At first I was a scrupulously honest ‘liker’. I hit the ‘like’ button only if I genuinely admired a post, or at least thought the blogger deserved some encouragement. Some people write really well and have great stories to tell. Others post professional-standard photos and teach me new tricks.
Then I reasoned, ‘Every blogger puts time, thought and effort into their posts. Talented or not, everybody likes to be liked.’ So I tried ‘liking’ lots more posts, and was rewarded with lots of people liking me in return.
It felt good, though in a superficial kind of way.
There’s only one ‘like’ button on WordPress. There’s not a ‘this really changed my life’ button or a ‘thought this was ok’ button. So the only way to tell anyone I’ve at least spent a few seconds on their site is to hit ‘Like this’.
If I find something really interesting or amusing, I take the time to comment as well, if possible saying something original, witty, encouraging or at least related to the post. I often see posts on blogs I visit with dozens of ‘Great pix!’, ‘Cool!!!’ or ‘Nice post!’ messages among the comments. I suspect many of these are generated by the ‘look at my great shots/blog/writing’ rent-a-crowd.
However, one of the joys of blogging is meeting people who really do seem to share my interests (travel, hiking, cycling, photography, art…) and my sense of humour. I’d miss you if we didn’t exchange at least a brief message every few days or weeks.
There are some people (you mostly know who you are) whose blogs I regularly follow, either formally or just through regular visits.
There are others who follow me so faithfully that I feel I ought to follow them back. It’s naturally a bit awkward if I don’t find their posts particularly inspiring. I have a real life and real work and I can’t read everything everyone writes.
And finally, to reassure those whose blogs I do follow that I’m not just doing it out of politeness – no, life is too short. I only follow you if you’re regularly posting stuff that interests me. Really. Believe me. I REALLY like you.
What’s your policy on ‘liking’, commenting, reblogging and following? Be honest, now!
Oh, and if you like this post, please feel free to click the ‘Like’ button. It will make me feel good and guarantee you another hit on your blog. If you don’t like it, maybe you should click anyway – a tactful lie will spare my feelings.