Why I Removed the ‘Like’ Button 

After posting last Friday, and linking it to the blog of a friend, she warned me that she couldn’t find my post after clicking in the Pingback, nor could find it in the reader.

I tried to get access to the post outside my dashboard and got the same message she did: nothing found.

What I found most interesting though, was to get a few ‘likes’, seconds after I had posted. How bizarre. Do people like empty pages?

I contacted a Happy Engineer and after a few interactions with Brian Steele, the problem was understood and resolved. The post was published again.

I took the opportunity to share with him the bizarre event of ‘likes’ to ghosts pages and after laughing a bit, I got instructions to remove the ‘like’ from my blog.

Why?

This wasn’t the first time that I noticed that there are people who never read a post and just like it.

There are only so many posts one can read in this endless road of the blogosphere. It’s nearly impossible to read all posts of all our followers and still have time to reply to all of their comments, besides posting and having a life.

Each one of us has developed a schedule and habits to inhabit the blogging world. Mine is simple. I follow those who follow me, not as a default action, but only after checking their blogs, and after noticing if they visit my blog after the follow.

Sometimes people use the technique to follow others, just to get followers and disappear into black holes. Those are the bloggers I don’t follow, if I can detect them.

Other bloggers follow me and even though I read and comment on their posts, they never comment on my posts. That happens. I conclude that I appreciate more what they do than the other way around, because I see them commenting on other blogs. Still I keep following them. No harm done.

However, I dislike the behavior of those, who like a post just a second after a post is published. Better not do anything than take this silly action. Do they think we don’t notice it?

That is why I decided to get rid of this button. Feel free to read my posts, and only if you want, leave a comment. If you don’t, that’s ok too.

Do I need ‘likes’? Not. Do I use ‘likes’? Until now, yes. But only to bloggers that never comment. From now on, I will never use it again, if not in combination with a comment. Walking my talk.

I already follow a principle to always comment on the posts of my readers. I would feel terribly ashamed to just leave a ‘like’ in the blogs of the regular commenters in my blog.

I’m curious to hear your opinion about that. What’s your experience like with the ‘like’ button? Any advice?

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate slave, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do, when I want.

64 thoughts on “Why I Removed the ‘Like’ Button 

  1. I read a lot of blogs. I don’t comment on that many because I feel like I am making contrived statements just to get noticed. Much of the time I just do not have anything to add to the discussion but I want people to know that appreciate their work, nonetheless. I like a lot of the things I read, justifiably so because there are some very talented people on WP. That being said, from the reader on my smartphone app, sometimes I like a post I just read after flipping from the article back the to summaries in the reader only to have the reader flip from the place I was in the posts to the very top, the most recent posts. The like I hit that was intended for another post gets registered on something that just got posted. Some of what you are seeing may be due to this glitch. Admittedly, there are a fair number of people who are trying to garner attention via likes and follows and sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. I am much more careful nowadays with who I follow as a consequence.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never had an issue with the “like” button. I always assumed that most don’t have time to leave their thoughts and “liking” something was the easiest way to say hey I dropped by, read and flew off. Although I always enjoy it when I do get left something. But it’s usually from people I interact regularly with.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting commentary. I have wondered about the “like” button, too. A few high traffic blogs I really like don’t have one. I’m not sure if it’s the platform (one is blogger but the others are WP self-hosted) or why. Maybe they had one and removed it or maybe they’ve never had one? Perhaps they want readers to take the time to leave a comment rather than simply pressing like? I’m not sure.

    As for me and the like button, sometimes I use it to say, “Hi! I was here and liked what you wrote but don’t have anything to add.” Sometimes I will comment and not press “like”. I figure my appreciation is clear from the comment. Sometimes I do both. It’s interesting you bring this up because I’ve been wondering what would happen if I turned the like button off. Would I have more interaction or would it fall off completely? And I’ve also had interesting experiences with impossibly fast likes. One was on a 1,000+ word post. !!

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    1. You sum this up nicely. I follow a lot of blogs and appreciate when someone stops by and “likes” my post. There is a disparity between likes and actual visitors when I see my stats but I don’t dwell on it. When I use my tablet on weekends with limited wi-fi, I pretty much hit like because it takes forever to comment on my tablet. I have noticed that people may come back and like my post after I have liked theirs. Again not that big of deal. An of course other blogs that are not wordpress don’t have like buttons. I will always comment on my good friend Lucile’s posts because she is a rock solid blogger!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I like the ‘like’ button because I am conditioned to it? Hmm. I do leave a lot of comments; I tend to be chatty sometimes and think someone sees me and goes, “Oh, gosh. Her again!” So if I really enjoy a post, I take a break from a comment and hit ‘like.’
    I would have to agree with what Jap Can(ada) Mix says. Sometime one, sometimes both. If I just like something you posted but don’t comment, how can you know I still enjoyed what you took the time to post? It’s a conundrum, Lucile. But I really like that you took to the time to explain it all.

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  5. I “like” that you disabled likes and I’m tempted to do the same. I use the WP app on my iPhone and it dings when it gives me notifications. Often someone will like my post and then comment some 15-20 minutes later. Now I don’t know for sure but I wonder if some people like the posts that they want to read in more detail then filter their feed by going to the “posts I like” section in the reader. This is the only useful thing I can see for the like button. Apart from the “showing support” reason.
    My main issue with likes is that I’ve noticed that sometimes notifications are capped at 20 so if I get 20 like before 7 comments, then I can miss those comments and I have to go into the dashboard to find them. Since I travel I don’t actually use the computer for WP that often so it’s easier to use my iPhone.
    I’ve read the comments above and I find it really interesting to have his discussion. I’ll be checking back in to see what other people have to say about this.
    Thanks for sharing lovely 🙂

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  6. Thanks for posting this. I couldn’t find your like button but did like the photo. Sometimes I just don’t have anything to say. I did learn in Blogging 101 to not just say nice picture and to say something about it. Sometimes I don’t have the time, like when I shouldn’t be looking at work. I do love your love your site, and will try to comment more often. As for the immediate response. . .When I’m on the PC, I’ll look at the top to see the latest email and go there. So I think it depends on the persons habit. Sometimes I don’t get to look for a couple of day. Just my thoughts. . . Take care. ~Julia

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  7. P.S. You can also treat this as an experiment. See how the absence of the like button affects your traffic and interaction with the blogging community.
    P.P.S. I’m very particular. I never hit “like” for wont of something to say…

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  8. The “Like” button has its grey areas with many reasons to use them or not. There are many times that I will hit that button, because I honestly enjoyed the post yet for a number of reasons do not leave a message. Mostly, it’s impossibly to compose a message for every post that I “like.” That button can at least acknowledge that I have seen the post and have communicated it to the blogger. I’m not sure what the solution would be. Maybe you will learn more than you imagined from the removal.

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  9. Hi Lucile, I find the like buttons useful. First, even though I don’t always have a thoughtful comment to add to a post that I really enjoyed, I still want the author to know that I read it and liked it. Second, I find that learning and developing a blogging habit can be all-consuming. Everything takes longer when it is new: the like button helps me acknowledge something cool but move on to the next new assignment or puzzle to unravel. Third, I’m still new enough that “likes” received give morsels of constructive feedback. Finally, sometimes I look at the number of likes on other people’s posts to see if I can decipher what resonates with readers. I suppose all these reasons may change in the future, but that’s my opinion today!

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  10. Interesting topic and I am not sure where my feelings lie. I “like” posts to indicate that I have read the post but sometimes the word “like” is completely the wrong word when the topic is sad or complicated. At those times or if I have something to add, I will leave a comment. Usually with photographs, I tend to “like” what I see and may not comment, as I have no background in photography and can’t comment on the technical aspects of photos etc. I just know what I “like”. It is your blog and you should do what you feel most comfortable with. Hope you continue to do so and enjoy it as well. 🙂

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    1. I agree, lovetotrav! I don’t have a photography background but I do know what photos I like and Lucile’s are always beautiful and interesting. I also, love your commentary, Lucile and try to contribute when I can. Do as you wish and we are still here following along, dear Lucile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. #.lovetotrav
      If there had been a ‘like’ bottom so I would have used for your comment… 😀

      Agree with you – I use it for the same reasons as you do – in some cases it sounds (in my ears) silly when I write “Very well written” so the bottom say it without words – visiting photo blogs so as you I have no background in photography and can’t comment on the technical aspects of photos, so I sometimes use it there too – but no doubt I follow others rules when I ‘visit’ them and follow my own when I’m at ‘home’… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s all personal preference. I admit I like likes! To me it is nice to be able to give (or receive) acknowledgement of a good posting, especially if I’m not feeling that wordy. I don’t like things if I don’t really like them.😄 Comments are, of course, the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. To be perfectly honest, I love ‘Liking’ your posts. I am the camp that doesn’t always have something to add to the conversation but want you to know that I am delighted by your work and to say ‘hi’. You probably know that I adore your work because I’ve told you so many times in comments, but still!

    Also, I may sometimes seem like a fast ‘Liker’ because when I see the image come through in the Reader that I adore, I hit ‘Like’ really fast because I’m so excited. Then I read the rest of the post, possibly commenting several minutes later if I have something to add. Or I ‘Like’, but before I can comment, boat work calls me away and it is hours before I return.

    Perhaps I will comment ‘Like’ when I don’t have anything else to add, but then that would be obnoxious :-). As I will have to live without your ‘Like’ button, I will just tell you again that I always ‘Like’ your stuff. Maybe you could add one of those anonymous ‘Like’ buttons so that I can still ‘Like’ your work even if you don’t know it is me.

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  13. Since I am following you, I have probably left likes, but maybe not ever commented – always having the intention of returning. Your post has caused me to reblog my own post about this subject when one of my favourite bloggers once removed her like button.

    I consider a like my calling card. And sometimes I do press like within seconds – if I’m using the reader and going straight to the first post. But, I will only ever like a single image from the reader, always going to the original post if there is reading or commenting to be done.

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  14. I think having a like button is more practical. Sometimes you read and enjoy a post but have nothing to add or exprress. Liking the post in that case would show your interest without you having to say anything at all. As for those ghost likers, I don’t know. I always visit the blogs of those who like my posts because I reckon we have similar interests, and I hate it when I take the time to write a comment and get no feedback. Sometimes you have nothing to add to the comment so “liking” it is enough to show the person that you appreciate his/her comment.

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  15. I like the, uh… “like” button ohoho. I feel it’s a convenient way to acknowledge a post in the reader when I’m at a loss for words. This is me 99% of the time when going through the blogosphere as I’m not much of a writer and I don’t like repeating what others are saying myself.

    I don’t expect everyone to comment when I post things so for myself, it’s a quick measure of how well my post did vs. trying to interpret the info on the stat page. On my own blog I consider comments a nice bonus even if they all say essentially the same thing or even if they’re short and sweet.

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  16. I have to say I am one of those who uses the like button when I enjoy a post but don’t have anything to add to the conversation, or don’t have the time to write a comment on every post….but want to show that I was there and enjoyed.

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  17. This is a very interesting topic and a great post – especially as you took the time to explain your reasons for removing the ‘like’ button – I did miss it and wondered what had happened on a recent post. I have often wondered how some people can like a post so quickly though! I love having people leave comments on posts (especially your comments) and feel that our blogging community and the relationships we make, need comments to continue to improve. I do like the ‘like’ button and use it to say ‘I’ve been, I’ve seen and I liked your post’ and often I will go back to my favourite bloggers (like you) and leave a more detailed comment later. I like seeing the likes grow but wonder if that says more about me being a not-so-confident blogger and enjoying knowing that someone has actually read and enjoyed my posts. It will be interesting to see if it affects you in anyway and I look forward to a follow up post in a month or so 🙂 You are leading the way and again I thank you for pointing out this issue. 🙂

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  18. Lucile! I was about to ‘like’ this post before commenting then I noticed, you really did take the button off! LOL. Well, lovely post though you sound really hurt. Here’s a BIG hug for that.
    I realise that some people just come and ‘like’ a post and move on without looking at it and it hurts, but I know people like you will read and genuinely give your comments. When I see people read my post (an assumption) by reason of ‘liking’ it, I go check out theirs. When I see I have a new follower, I go check theirs out, if I like what I read and want more, I follow. If not, whenever they ‘like’ another post, I go check theirs again and like what I read if I like it. You know me, I’m not selfish with the truth.

    Now I’m going to miss liking my really lovely pictures 🙂

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  19. Very interesting discussion here. I see that others, like myself, sometimes will “like” a post and come back later to post. Sometimes I need to reread and digest the post before trying to make a comment because I’m not that elegant in my writings, haha. Have a beautiful day, Lucile!

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  20. Lucile, you generated a lot of comments on this post. I’ve thought these same things and have considered removing the “like” button. I really try to comment on almost all the posts I view/read, if not daily, at least often, but it’s not always possible. Sometimes it’s due to time, sometimes to, as mentioned above, not really having anything cogent to say or anything that’s not already been said. In that case, pressing the “like” button seems more honest to me than a banal comment and easier than saying, “I really liked your post.” I have another online friend who took the button away, then later put it back up because of the comments she received (not mean comments, I hasten to add.)

    Ultimately what I always wonder about are the hundreds of followers who never even bother to press “like.” I’m sure many follow me in hopes that I’ll follow them. I can’t follow 2,000 people and do any sort of decent job of reading and commenting on their posts. But I do my best with those I do follow and I so appreciate all my active followers, whether “likers”, commenters, or both.

    janet

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  21. I’m a bit like Lisa and hit ‘like’ when I’m scrolling through posts on the reader, particularly if I really like the photo. When I get time I’ll go back and read many more thoroughly and make comments if I think I have some of value to say.

    You are always so very generous with your time and encouragement for me and others. So even though I can’t ‘like’ you anymore and sometimes won’t have time to comment you can assured I love your posts and photos and will continue reading them.

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  22. I understand how you feel. I never “Like” a post I haven’t read but I know that people do. People can also “Like” a post from the Reader without actually clicking through to the site. They can also do it from their inbox if they’re receiving posts by email.

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  23. I like the “like” button… But comments are always nicer. It’s shows the person actually took the time to read the post and share a thought about it. I feel at times the like button is clicked but not always because the post was read.
    Love your work. I’m not always online… But love reading your work when I see it in my feed 🙂

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  24. I like the like 😉 It feels like a “hi” and as many of your friends there, I sometimes like just to say I appreciate the post and will be back later to comment.
    I overlike your blog XXX

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  25. Great move. I lost my “like” button when I went self-hosted. I kind of missed the likes at first, but I have learned so much about organic likes and follows, and know that many of those “likes” were not organic. You put out excellent content, and even though I don’t get to read everything as often as I’d like, I never have “liked” a post that I did not read. Seems so silly!

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  26. I actually like the ‘like’ button. I am often reading while on the subway and I don’t always have enough time, courage or creativity to make a meaningful comment. And I know that if I don’t comment immediately, I will forget later. The button offers an opportunity to at least say, hey, I read your post (until the end for I never like anything without reading the full text) and I thought it was nice. But I understand your point of view too, even though I rarely get instant likes.

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  27. Lucile, I want to follow you and remove the Like button too. Although, sometimes I do not have anything to say. Worse still, I feel like I say the same things over and over. I try to read as many blogs as possible and comment, but some days, I just can’t do it. I hope if I click on the like button at least the writer will know I stopped by. Please let us know how this goes. By the comments I have seen, it looks like there will be a ton of us following your example. ❤

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  28. I get what you mean, Lucille. It’s just like the same as talking/discussing with someone who (apparently) don’t listen but just keeps on nodding and saying yes to what you say without even understanding it, or at least hearing your words. I enjoy reading blogs and looking at wonderful photos but at times when I am in a hurry, I would “like” the page and then leave comments after; also, a simple click on the “like” button is my way of giving a “high-five” because it caught my attention as a reader and it is my way of appreciating it.

    Nevertheless, I understand what you felt 😀

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  29. I love this, Lucile, and I think it’s brilliant of you to remove your like button. Likes provide more harm than good, at least in my experience (how many likes did I get on that post… How is it stacking up to my other posts??…which is silly and stupid because blogging should never be a popularity contest). I never like a post without reading it and I, too, am also wary of the bloggers who seem to follow my blog in the hopes that I’ll follow them back. I love building relationships with fellow bloggers and that is accomplished through commenting, of course. I try my best to comment frequently. That said, sometimes when I’m in a rush or really behind on catching up on blogs, I do resort to a like…especially if I’m reading from my phone. That said, I agree, comments are way more meaningful and I think its really cool that you’ve chosen to remove your like button.

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  30. I understand why you removed the “like” button , but I don’t dare to do the same on my blog…..
    I like to be liked!
    As for those pages “not found” ,it happened two or three times , recently , when searching in your blog!
    (Perhaps I pressed a “like” , on those occasions, just to tell you I was present…)
    It seems everything’s ok , by now, and I congratulate you for your wonderful work!

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  31. Read about your disconnect from the Like Button on an Imaniking post, today. I decided to click the like button on her post and it brought me to your page; and, I decided to follow you because you sound like someone I would like to connect with.

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  32. I think on photography blogs people are less likely to comment than “like” because if they think it’s a good photo but don’t have anything to add it seems like a waste of time to write a whole bit, if that makes sense. But that’s fair to remove it!

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  33. I’ve been reflecting on the subject for quite a while now and made the same observations as you have.
    I have sometimes published relatively long posts and within a few minutes… *ping*… you’ve got a new like.
    I might follow your lead soon.

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  34. Dearest Lucile,
    I admire your decision to remove the “like” button…In a world of social media, the “like” button has become part of our daily lives…I must admit that I have used the “like” button in the past without commenting on someone’s post in order to make sure they know that I’ve read their post and that I’ll be back to comment when I have a chance or maybe just to say hello and that I enjoyed reading without leaving a comment…That being said, I feel blessed to have built such lovely relationships with bloggers (especially with you!) and I love to comment and share my feelings about posts I read…
    Your post has really made me think about the blogosphere and why were are here to share our words with one another! What a special opportunity to be here….
    Thank you for your honest and candid post….
    *Lia

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  35. I guess you have made a decision and you must abide by it. But if I can through in my few cents I think the like button allows busy people to at least make their presence felt. Sometimes we are traveling and don’t have a decent connection and with a very slow internet response the like button is the next best thing, More over sometimes there is not much to say.

    Any how I will visit your blog and enjoy it as usual.

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  36. Ah, so that explains why I couldn’t ‘like’ one of your posts, Lucile! hahaha! I must say, I use the ‘like’ when I don’t have a particular comment, but would just like to like (too many likes in this sentence!!!) a post. Perhaps I over-use it? Now you’ve got me thinking!

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  37. Well now, this is a challenging post and quite a discussion that you have initiated which in itself speaks volumes about your own engagement and following. I must admit I don’t feel that strongly about the like button, one way or another. Although I must confess that I don’t “like” posts that I don’t actually like and have no problem with people pressing the like button on my own posts. Often, as I think some others have said, click the like button as a form of acknowledgement of a post either when I am in a hurry or preoccupied…

    Regardless,your posts are always engaging and for me the best part about the blogging experience has been the new friendships made both online and offline.

    So, bravo for starting the debate here!

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  38. I don’t get the issue. But I don’t use a mobile phone at all for my blog, even to read comments (yet), so all the likes and comments are always available in that little orange icon on my laptop. But one thing I will say is this, just a few seconds ago, the little orange button lit up, a star…a like. Someone had just liked a post that I’d made weeks ago. Sure, I would prefer a comment, but just knowing someone was here visiting an old post…I like that. But then it makes you wonder…what were they doing there. Then maybe you spend the rest of the day bummed because they didn’t comment???

    So, Lucile, if the button is causing you problems, you gotta do what you gotta do. Which apparently, you already have!

    **clicks “post comment” button and then clicks imaginary “like” button**

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  39. You know how I feel. I started to read people’s comments about the subject, but then I realised I have no time. I wrote several posts about likes and phony behaviour (not that all like clickers are necessarily phonies), but I appreciate less superficial interaction between bloggers. This has been a very touchy subject for me. I am glad to see there are more of us sharing the same views. Have a good weekend Lucile!

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  40. P.S. I’m distracted today preparing two posts at once. For me “followers” are persons I interact regularly with, and not the ones that have clicked the follow button, and that is really a handful.

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  41. Hi Lucile, I must say, I totally agree with your blogging etiquette! I too, often receive an immediate like (when I know it’s impossible to have read the post in that time. I always try to post a comment on any blogs I read and will only hit a like on its on if that blogger has left no comment on mine. I had this same issue with likes on a blank post with my instgramme account where I blog healthy food recipes! One photo came up completely white yet still recieved 15likes!!! Strange that people will spend their time liking things in this way…my question is: why? Great post that I am sure many can relate to! xx

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    1. However, I agree – sometimes there just isn’t time to comment and genuine likes are always greatly appreciated (sorry for the typos in previous message – I find using wordpress on my i phone a nightmare because the floating follow box covers my comments box and I can’t actually view what’s written until after I hit post! : /

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    2. Hi Hayley, interesting to hear that you went through the same experience. It’s how most people operate in social media and I gave up to understand it. I do understand though if they don’t have enough time and use like just to say hi, I appreciate this. I’m in peace with that. Thank you so much for commenting and enriching the discussion with your experience. Under which name can I find you in IG? Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Lucile, it’s been a wonderful discussion and has opened my eyes to just how many people do leave a genuine like, which makes up for the few that are hitting like without reading – it has been a great discussion and one that many people have contributed to as a result of your interesting post that many can relate to! My Instagram name is wholefoodsforlife – I blog healthy recipes! xx

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  42. Just popping by after a big day in the wood shop. this issue of liking something w/o reading happened to me last Winter and it left me irritated. I got up one morning and looked @ the stats…a fellow blogger had stopped by in the middle of the night and “liked” multiple posts in a very short amount of time. no way in the world did she have enough time to read all of them. It sure felt like a case of trying to build a readership because she was an “expert” in a certain field (mental health). While I enjoy the interaction on the blog, it is not about the numbers for me…period. I have no self imposed pressure to write posts or comment on other peoples posts..I work real hard at keeping it real…life is too precious. DM

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    1. Thanks. That’s very special to hear that you popped up after a busy day, read my post and left a insightful comment. I’m grateful.
      I cannot agree more with you.
      I don’t blog for likes neither and find it sad when people spend time just hoping form blog to blog, asking to be followed after a like and no comment. I know that this works for those who are here for the number of followers and they will always find people looking for the same, so they help each other. But I value more the connection and the interaction. I have been long enough in the rat race of corporate life and had it all about competing and trying to perform better than others.
      Here is my ‘sanctuary’, and I read and comment when I can be genuine and not to get approval. Here I have met wonderful people and made virtual friendships, and some have even become real ones, as we met eventually.
      So, let’s keep working hard in real life and be ourselves here. No pressure.
      Thanks again. Much appreciated to have you around.
      Lucile

      Liked by 1 person

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