Why I hate favorites and likes

I hate Twitter ‘favorites’ and Facebook ‘likes’.

Twitter has turned into a platform for irrelevant squawking (ie, tweeting), and in an attempt keep ourselves engaged with unworthy content, we’ve collectively turned to ‘favoriting’ squawks (tweets). All a favorite really means is, ‘I read your 140 characters, and it meant more to me than the 25 other 140-character segments I saw’. It’s no more than a 7th grade popularity contest with your virtual peer group.

Facebook has turned into SharePoint for emotional metadata. And as a culture, we’ve been trained to think that facebook content has value because it comes from people we know. People we have relationships with matter, but our shared content does not. It’s pictures and metadata, IE, photos of someone’s puppy 4 months ago and their feelings about Tuesday’s drive home. Compared to what could be expressed in relationships, Facebook content is junk mail. ‘Liking’ Facebook content has no affect other than telling ‘like’-seeing entities you absorbed their content.

At the core, both ‘favorites’ and ‘likes’ are forms of passive assent to the original content. Passive assent adds no value to the original content. It doesn’t add a different perspective, it doesn’t provide additional information, and keeps the conversation statically focused on what’s already been expressed. The result is the same effect as a ‘hmmmm’ in a normal conversation. Nothing.

Proposed Alternative

We’re intelligent human beings who have more to say than passive favorites and likes. I am asking you, the individual reading this, to think and reorient how you speak to your peers and the world. Communication is worthless unless we speak to the human soul in the people we address.

Life is incredibly short. I’d like to have my words count for far more than passive assent.