Someone just 'liked' an old photo of mine on Facebook. And I was wondering why/how would anyone do that? I mean what makes them either seek out someone else's profiles or more probably go scroll down tens of times, down the rabbit hole of their facebook timeline. Don't get me wrong, I do not dislike it. As a matter of fact, I can't help keeping an eager lookout on the notification from Facebook like those rats in the lab who are made to learn to respond to electric pleasure signals.
And I understand that the act of 'liking' is a delicate matter. A like is a badge that one carefully chooses. Every like contributes to one's own sense of self, a carefully constructed persona.
'Am I close enough to the person to react to his/her updates?'
'Hope I do not come across as someone naive/ over eager/ un cool'
'Will it send wrong signal if I like this?'
My limited curiosity came up with only these questions/thoughts that possibly race through people's minds before they hit the like button. Maybe there's more. Maybe for some,there's none.
So for an act so deliberate and so insistent in its seduction (How can you not like a Gagnam style video (or alternatively not say that it sucks) and still think that you belong to this era?), one really has little choice but
to follow the rabbit.
I think the rabbit has gone far much deeper. Deeper than blood or bone. You can feel it every time you find something amusing/ heartening in real life and for an instant feel the overwhelming need to 'like' it. Haven't you lately started even saying 'i like' in response to things that you enjoy?
(Whereas the range of expression earlier perhaps was much wider. And by earlier I do not mean the 20th century, but a few years back Before Facebook (BF)).
Its even deeper than the narrowing of your range of expressions. Its also narrowing your vision. What you see in reality is either in the realm of 'like' or out of its realm. The digital eye has mutated into the real eye.
The real digital eye is impeccably trained to segregate/ aggregate/ label things that it sees. It disregards things that it can't label- things that it can't label as something that you 'like' or someone else you know might 'like'.
Like (and # for the tweetarati) has become the new social currency through which we exchange our sense of reality. We are not racing against each other to earn more likes; we are racing in search of certainty of our existence.
We are trying to attract more and more witnesses to our existence, lest time and short memories erase us from world of others. (The world of other matter. If there is no other, who is to say that I exist? 'for real!')
I thank the person who waded through so much content before liking my photo. Thank you for validating my existence. and congratulations, you exist too. :)