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  1. 2
    Christina O'Hare

    I like to like! For many reasons. Friends shared joys and achievements,interesting educational articles, notions,philosophy and intriguing images. I don’t like to like when I feel that I am being emotionally pressured to do so,even when I empathise with the subject..

    • 3

      Interesting – yes, I know what you mean with regards emotional pressure to like or engage. Sometimes it reminds me of the 90s when you used to get chain mail letters that made you think something awful would happen if you didn’t send it on. The culture of like is less explicit than that, of course, but sometimes reminiscent.

  2. 4
    Catriona Smith

    I think it’s interesting to delve into how people feel when their ideas are validated online; there’s something about a notification that even the most innocuous of posters seek out. It’s almost a really broad acceptance as the Internet is so huge and someone has seen you.

  3. 8

    Really interesting read. I personally would only use the ‘like’ button for a positive status update but think it is intriguing how its meaning has developed for different content.

  4. 9

    “Although on the whole the growth of social media has been a very positive development, allowing us to have a level of connectedness with a global network of friends and acquaintances as never before”

    People were emailing photos and the like long before social media, to their actual friends. This has merely opened up a whole new pool of people to judge and be judged by.
    More photos are being taken than ever before, partly out of convenience because phones are so smart now. Not, though, because people are trusting their memories less, or are increasingly concerned about sating their potential future nostalgic urges. They’re now only indirectly for oneself, for affirmation, via the conduit of the internet hive mind.

    Although to be fair, as barometers of social status go, it could be much, much worse.

    • 10

      “This has merely opened up a whole new pool of people to judge and be judged by.”

      Yes, it is hard to deny that when your thoughts, updates and photos are out there ready to be shared and like – you are opening yourself up to being judged by your network and vice versa.

      However, I would not say that social media has “merely” done this – it has done much more. I do agree we need to keep the psychological implications in mind and approach this platform with some caution, with regards notions of judgment, validation and approval.

      On balance, though, I think that the positives outweigh the negatives. As it is a powerful means of communication and community building, I don’t think we can dismiss the culture of like that social media has created as being a purely for affirmation. It is just one factor of many that drive this culture.

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