I spread my arms,
like the trees,
and whistle at the skies,
happy and free,
to the song of our hearts.
First off, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this discussion that is going on with this, I will respond to each of your comments individually shortly after I make this post but wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the time and sharing your opinion! For those who are reading the post for the first time this is what I had posted in the morning:
“I will weigh in with my comments later and update this post but I wanted to get a reaction from my fellow bloggers on this, without my influence…Please put your thoughts in the comment section 🙂 Look forward to a lively discussion!”
Second, as promised here is my stance on the issue:
I remember when I first joined wordpress and I got my very first ‘like’ on that first post – I was ELATED! As belsbor says in his comment it is indeed a great boost! Someone out there thought my work was good enough to be liked! …Then, when I received my first comment… I was beyond thrilled.
As a business major and professional, I know how difficult it can sometimes be to get responses. Some projects never take off because of not being able to generate enough interest. Of course, this blog was not or rather is not a business venture, but it is something that I am quite passionate about and thus, generating a strong readership is important to me…Coming back to the issue at hand…as to whether or not the ‘like’ button is an enabler or an advocate, I believe it can be both and like some of you have said in your comments I too have worn both hats on different days.
Since that first initial boost of getting a ‘like’, I have felt that initial ‘elation’ become a ‘pleasantly pleased’ emotion. Although I still love it, I am thrilled to get comments as it allows me to understand exactly how much the reader liked my work or how they connected with it but I appreciate that ‘like’ none the less. I agree, it is not just an advocate for an introvert, although it can become one in many cases. Sophie L raises an excellent point that I had not thought of with regards to the language barrier and how the ‘like’ button becomes an universal tool of approval. It is like casting a vote, just like nobody puts a comment on that ballot card, it is just enough support for the candidate and in this case the author’s post. I do not see it as a negative button in any sense, and like many of you I always try to read what I have liked. As Genuine Poetry (Denise) puts it, it is a way of letting the reader know that you were there and you liked their post; however, lately I have been feeling a bit guilty of being an inactive participant due to the lack of time.
I understand that as the number of blogs I follow increases along with my readership, it will be harder to keep up with all the posts all the time…but I have caught myself using the ‘like’ button as a crutch… and I did not like it. Sometimes, I skim longer posts, like it, saying to myself that I would come back and read it thoroughly later but there are days that it doesn’t happen. It made me wonder how many others actually read the post before liking. Ronovan raises a good point about how liking after barely a second of publishing kind of gives away the fact that it never really was read… and though thankfully, I am not guilty of that, it was just something I needed to reflect on and be more conscious of. I always try my best to comment when I have the time, especially with the blogs I follow regularly and have built a rapport with, but like many of you stated, time becomes a factor on how much I can do.
In conclusion, I think the ‘like’ button can be one of the best tools to encourage fellow bloggers. But before pushing that button, ALWAYS read the post you are about to like, if you have the time to comment please do and always be conscious that you do not become one of those ‘inactive participant’ using the like button as an automated response.
Thank you to each and everyone of you for taking the time to read my work,
PS: I loved each like on this posts! I also loved the posts I liked! 😉
‘How many ‘likes’ will I get on this post?’
I have caught myself thinking that a number of times since I have actively joined this blogging world. I would probably still be considered a newbie to some, being just a month shy here on wordpress; however, this new notion of validating my writing by the number of likes I get, has made me self reflect on this matter. I will not lie, it is a great motivator, but I think it is time for me to step back and see things for what they are.
There once was a time not too long ago, before social media or blogging when I used to write my thoughts down in a diary, getting immense joy from pouring them on that paper not viewed by anyone but me. There was a time when pictures were just shown to close friends and family, for the mere joy of sharing the memories with each other. It did not matter about the number of people who saw the pictures but the closeness we felt from it. I am not suggesting that one cannot feel close via a ‘facebook like’. I myself have connected with childhood friends and that ‘like’ from them means a lot. I digress, coming back to writing… I think for myself, it is a little different than sharing pictures.
Writing has always been an outlet for my thoughts. It helps me unwind after a long battle of emotions, helps me lose myself in music, helps me draw pictures with words that I cherish, helps me hold nature to my heart, and it is often my love songs. It has never been about how much someone else has liked or disliked my work. How then did a ‘like’ on one post and not the other begin to affect me like this?
Now, I would be dishonest if I said I do not appreciate being appreciated. I think most writers will tell you they get high when their readers resonate with their writing and show appreciation; however, it cannot come with a cost of validation of my work. If I were getting paid to do a marketing job, where I had to get consumers liking my post, it would have been different; that one extra ‘like’ would mean by bread and butter. But this, this right here is different, it is simply my thoughts and my muses, my nights and days of emotions on paper, it is the abstract ladders to my thoughts and my concrete heart on the computer screen, and though I will always appreciate and like that ‘like’, my work can never be validated by the number of ‘likes’ I receive.