This is a question I’ve debated since the start of Facebook. To be honest with you, I “liked” more posts at the beginning of my social media life than I do now. Before I get much farther though I better explain what a “like” is for the non-Facebook/social media people reading this blog. And yes, there are many out there who avoid social media at all costs and don’t understand the lingo – this is okay. There are days I wonder if joining them wouldn’t be a bad idea as I run in half a dozen (if not more) directions to keep up with sharing, posting, and interacting with my friends, family, and fans.
So to answer the question, “What is a ‘like’?” on Facebook – I want to start by explaining what a “post” is. Similar to other social medias (Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, The Vine, etc.) you can type a message as your status; this comment is called a “post”. Once you share your thoughts and click to “Tweet” “Post” or “Share”, depending on your social media venue – your post/message is now live and others can read it. So a “post” = “message to share your status”, with your “friends” (this is a whole different blog, maybe I’ll tackle this one in the near future too).
Now that your post is “live”, where does it go? First and foremost, it appears on your “home page” and “news feed”. Simultaneously, it shows up on your friend’s “ticker” (a sidebar to show who is posting and what they are posting about), and on your friend’s “news page”. This is where the choice comes in. The reader can choose to ignore the post or to read it.
Once you read someone else’s post, you have another decision to make –
a) Read it and do nothing
b) Read it and “share” it with your friends
c) Read it and “like” it
d) Read and respond to it
e) Read it and “report” it
So what do these all mean?
Read it and do nothing: is simply just this, you read their post and move on to read someone’s else’s post or log off your computer because of the time you’ve wasted reading other people’s posts (I’m guilty of this when in procrastination mode – and should log off rather than read on)
Read it and “share” it with your friends: the posts I typically share with others have either said something I found profound, a message I think we all could use hearing, a great illustration of life, a graphic or photograph to encourage or inspire my “friends”, a
link/recipe I want to be able to find later when I can read more, or to pass a message on to a friend or colleague who might be interested
Read it and “like” it: This means I not only read it but on some level, the person’s message spoke to my heart. Often times when a friend shares a prayer request, I will “like” it so they know I am praying for them. I look at one like equally one prayer lifted on behalf of the people I care about. At times when I’ve posted a prayer request and people like my posts, I am so encouraged to know not only do people care about be but they are also praying for me…how exciting and cool is that? Amazing, isn’t it. Your “like” is a prayer and hope for others.
SCRIPTURE ABOUT KNOW NOT WHAT TO PRAY
Read it and comment: the reason I leave a comment can vary depending on the post. Sometimes I read a post and my heart breaks for the person writing it so I try to leave an encouraging word because this is what I felt the Lord asked me to write. Other times I respond because I understand where they are coming from and want him/her to know they aren’t alone. I might just leave a smiley to so they know I’m thinking of them. A sidebar to the comment is when I don’t “like” it or “comment” publically but send a private message with a special note to encourage, support, inspire, or extend an understanding word to the person without the whole world reading it. Not everything belongs live and online for all to read – actually probably 90% of the information shared via social media used to be shared over coffee with a close friend – not the world. Just a thought to ponder…
Read it and report it: Yes I have “blocked” people and/or posts that appeared on my news feed. There are things I don’t want to see and don’t think my daughter or others should be exposed to. I don’t necessarily “report” them to the social media gods but I do block them and select the appropriate bubble to why I’m hiding it from my page. I’ve only blocked a couple people for harassing or inappropriate messages and posts on my page – this is done for my safety, and that of my family and friends that may be affected. This is a small number, yet the threat exists and more people need to consider who they friend and be willing to un-friend those who post messages and photographs that consistently go against their personal beliefs. It is your page after all – you can “hide” someone and their posts without hurt feelings too.
Another thing to think about…
So in a nutshell – I like, share, and message my “friends” through social media as a way to encourage, inspire, support, and pray for them. This is a small way I can extend the grace and mercy and love God’s given to me, to those in my circle. Who is posting and sharing something that you could respond to? Do they just need to know someone else understands? Do they need a prayer lifted on their behalf? Are they just venting and need to know someone heard them and is listening? If so, take the time to connect with them.
It can start with a “like”, “share”, or “private message” yet the ultimate and most beneficial way to connect and relate on a personal level is over coffee (or whatever your favorite drink is). If this isn’t possible because of schedules and miles – then pick up the phone, write and send a card (yes, a real card, using the postal service), and add them to your prayer lists.
I like all of you and appreciate you following the blog –
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323