The word ‘like’ is now a noun. Yeah Mark, you’ve changed the way we communicate and now you are changing the English language. Of course you are probably wondering what I mean by such a bizarre sentence but cast your blurry eyes back to your computer or mobile screen. Facebook. It is the very pioneering force behind our relationships with each other in this post-modern world. So what does a ‘Like’ represent I hear you ask. Once a process or an application, the word was seen as reflecting someone’s apparent acceptance or enjoyment of something. It still means that now but the word ‘Like’ is no longer a literal word floating about in the air – it has now landed; it’s a physical thing, an object, here to have and to hold as a weapon of popularity in our age of mass society.
Denotatively it is just a click of a little blue button on a social networking site. Just some colour pixels on your computer screen. However it connotates so much more than that; that shiny notification in your top left hand corner informing you of an incoming ‘Like’ says that someone, out there, has gone to the physical effort of clicking that button just to let you know they approve and enjoy what you are saying. And what could be more rewarding than that? It’s as real as any form of acceptance in bygone eras; whether being patted on the back, brought a drink or welcomed into a group of people – you are all of these and more when someone hits that magic blue button. So when you see this event occur sing hallelujah and rejoice for you, now, are a likeable person!
Of course one doesn’t automatically retain the right for people to ‘Like’ what you say on Facebook – it has to be earned through blood, sweat and tears. It’s a common sense fact now that to retrieve some likes, what is actually being said has to be of likeable quality – thus a status or a comment on Facebook needs to have a strategy and game plan behind it. Maybe you’re going after likes consciously, maybe you are just putting what floats into your media saturated head; all that matters is that ‘Likes’ are not free – they are earned. Earned just as much as a worker earns his money or a sportsmen earns his trophy. Stick with me now as I evaluate and discuss how to become ‘like literate’ on the platform of popularity that is Facebook.