The Like Button: Which Way to Go

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Luciledegodoy.com

Some days ago I took a decision to disable the ‘Like’ button and posted to explain why.

I only posted an explanation because a couple of bloggers warned me, pointing to the existence of a possible technical glitch. No, there wasn’t any. I just took a decision that I postponed for a long time.

I asked for your opinion and advice though. I hadn’t expected, however, that the post would trigger so many reactions and comments. So many, that deserved a proper collective answer.

First, I want to thank you, for taking the time to think about the theme and comment.

Second of all, I would like to reiterate that none of you are the ones I was referring to, as Ghost-likers. I know who they are. I know you, and that we have countless times connected either on mine or your blog. You are of a different fabric.

Most importantly, I am grateful for your comments, for it gave me the opportunity to stop and take stock about my blogging experience. Almost one and half years later, doing a few courses, and being a member of the WP community, led me to ask myself again: why am I blogging?

As I read the first replies, I decided to wait before answering individually to anyone. I sensed that I was in for a good listening session.

It paid off to wait a few days, ponder and come back to you now.

There was no voting on WHY I did it, and if there had been one, it would be fair to say that no one would support Ghost bloggers, who are after followers to inflate their stats or egos. Thanks for confirming my thoughts.

There were interesting remarks, and I will share the most common ones:

1) ‘Like’ first and read later. Motivated by low internet speed connection, lack of time, etc.

2) ‘Like’ to say ‘Hi, for lack of time, for having nothing to add to what has been already said, or just to say they appreciate the blog. ‘Like’ when finding difficult to comment on photos. And finally like to like, like to be liked, not minding if they don’t get comments.

3) Others never like a post before reading. Some want to also remove the ‘Like’ button.

I cannot forget to say that some reblogged the post campaigning for Long Live the Like. A good rant and a good laugh. Thanks.

Here is the point to stop and make a few conclusions.

The first one is that I have included the ‘Like’ button in the list of taboo subjects (sex, religion, race, politics, money). I don’t aim to convince anyone of my beliefs, but simply make mine known.

If you read all comments to the post or just my wrap up, you will conclude that there is a difference of opinions here. We could spent the rest of our lives arguing about it, or justifying our personal preferences. Difference of opinions is a fertile field for learning, though.

After a few months of discussions with myself, I followed Soren Kierkegaard advice.  “Do it or no do it, you will regret both.”

I regret to not make some of you happy, as you like the “Like’ button. The only thing I can tell you is that I know that you like my blog, and that you have been very successful in letting me know that with every interaction we had in the last months. Being it on your blog or my blog.

As I had said in the earlier post, I didn’t expect a like from you, nor a comment, every time I posted, and hope you didn’t expect that from me either. We cannot humanly possibly have time to do all that and still work, have a family, friends, travel, etc.

But… I don’t regret to disable the ‘Like’ button. This is not an emotional decision, and I am not upset with anyone, nor sad. Why?

  1. I get twice more ‘Likes’ than visitors. And twice more ‘Likes’ than comments. The notification of ‘Likes’ occupy the limited and precious space for notification messages of the mobile app, which is where I blog the most (as I am not often in front of a computer).
  2. Therefore, I miss to see and reply to the comments, unless I am using a computer and can go to the dashboard. ‘Likes’ are making my blogging habit of replying to comments, very inefficient.
  3. Worse than that is to miss the replies I get from bloggers, on comments I made in their blogs. Those are the ones I don’t find in my dashboard, as there is a limited number of messages available in “comments I made.” If you know where I can find them back without having to look for them blog by blog, let me know! 
  4. For the same lack of space, I can’t see who has recently followed me.
  5. I was told that ‘Likes’ are connected to Facebook stats, and if you have a Facebook icon on your blog, you are sending data to FB. If I can disallow FB to do this, by removing the Like button, I am happy.
  6. I hardly ever check stats. I did it now to be able to say this to you: there is a huge difference between ‘Likers’ and ‘Visitors’. After eliminating the button, I think that looking at stats will make more sense, as it will give me a cleaner view of what I am doing, and on how that was received.

The above are my objective reasons to disable the ‘Like’ button. Now comes a more important one, which is the foundation of my decision. My revised answer on WHY I blog.

I read again my about page and about me page. I was pleased to see that I keep true to myself.

Blogging is one of the ways I use to express my thoughts, share my experiences, and my experimentation with photography. I do that though, not as a monologue with yours truly, but through the valuable connections, dialogues, and interactions I have with other bloggers – followers or not -, because that is what makes blogging worthy.

I have made friends here. I have met fantastic human beings, and learnt loads from their happy, sad, funny, insightful experiences, and stunning photos. I have often been in awe for their talent to write and photograph. I got richer with every connection made.

Britta said in her comment that “blogging should never be a popularity contest”. She made me want to share with you, key thoughts from my about page:

I use my real name to name this blog – not for being world’s famous – but because the only thing I am famous for is my preference to openly voice what I think and stand for… what sometimes gets me in trouble.

You will find here not only mine, but other people’s perspectives. You may add your thoughts; you are welcome to differ, ponder, enjoy and hopefully have a good laugh as well.

It adds diversity and depth – making this blog more interesting – and more important, making it worth your while.

Feel home, and stay longer, by joining me here.

The ‘Like’ button communicates different things to each one of us. I accept that.

Rest assured that you don’t really ever again need to press that “Like” button in this blog.

Each time you connected and reached out to me, you left your mark. Your appreciation is imprinted in my heart, and for that I am grateful to have crossed your path.

Thanks!

This message is a reply to VictoDolore Listentothebabe Japan Can(ada) Mix Julial213 Terri Webster Schrandt LoisaJay Desleyjane Estelea Lens and Pens by Sally Send Sunshine Delida Costing Lovetotrav Schuttzie Ledrakenoir Tildy1 AntonioV Lisa Dorenfest Drahul Photography Christine R Unrelentingmayhem James Liswed  Sue Debbie H Imanikel Sustainabilitytea  Michelle Hill Rachel M Oxygen4thejourney Martie Perelincolors Silver Threading BerryDuchess Brittabottle  76sanfermo Seasonedsistah2 Victimtocharm Elissaveta LifestylewithLia Asnappshot gfchopstix Andy Townend

77 thoughts on “The Like Button: Which Way to Go

  1. Bravo Lucile, an excellent way to respond to the many comments that you received. I always enjoy reading your posts because you write so well and openly and with consideration for others, and importantly with consideration for your self also. Each time you write, I think.

    I will enjoy this particular convergence for a long time to come yet!

    Have a great weekend…

    • Thank you so much, Andy. It means a lot to me. This convergence has been and will continue being invaluable, and that is what makes blogging worth loving it, not just liking…;-)
      It seems that we can count on a warm weekend. I trust you will get the same in Brussels.
      Enjoy the weekend!

  2. Lucile, I missed your post where you asked for opinions and comments, but found this post very understandable of the route you have taken. I am a comment person, and love to encourage others. There are very few posts that I “liked”, that I failed to comment on. I also love the interaction from fellow bloggers. Lucile, you are so endearing in this. Your warmth, personality, trust and friendliness shines through, something you just don’t get in a “like”.
    Commenting does take a lot of time. If I did not take the time to type out comments (and I am a slow 1 finger typist), I would have much more time to read more blogs (and click the “like” button), if that makes sense. 🙂
    I do love this blog so much, because of the person behind it, who I have gotten to know and appreciate through commenting. Time wise, I am not able to read every post, and I know you understand.
    Thank you for sharing and following your hearts lead! 🙂
    ~Carl~

    • Carl, If I had read your comment before posting, I would have just asked you permission to use your words, literally, because what you said totally represents my way of thinking.
      That is what I tried to say to those who are upset with the absence of the button.
      I appreciate so much the heart-to-heart connections I made here with people like you, and feel like we know each other forever. And just as you expressed, we don’t need to read and comment everyday in each other’s blogs, as it’s just not possible, but when we do, we mean it and it is genuine. We are also not upset if we don’t have daily contact.
      I know people are different and have different opinions, and I respect that. Respect is a two way process, though.
      Heartfelt thanks, my friend, and have a beautiful weekend!
      Lucile

  3. Interesting how something as simple as a LIKE button comes with such a range of emotions and ideas. I admire you for being you and doing what feels right to you. That is how we should live our lives. In the meantime, if I don’t know what to say about a photo (me being somewhat photo challenged and all coming from the point, click many times and pray world) I might just comment every now and then that I like it. 🙂 Hopefully that will work and you will understand that I have appreciated it but do not have the tech/photo words to say why. In the meantime, maybe this is a calling for me to learn more about photography. Take care and have a great day. Tot ziens.

    • It is fascinating. It feels like I am walking on a mine field.
      Heartfelt thanks for your comment. I am humbled by your consideration and care. Please don’t feel that you have to comment on everything I do. Really, you don’t need to. Photos are to be appreciated and that is all. If you like it, I am happy that you enjoy it. Guess what, I am photography enthusiast, still learning the technique, so I join you as when I make comments in other blogs, I either don’t comment or express my opinion about what it makes me feel. Not technique. We have met here recently and I highly value our connection. That is what matters to me.
      Have a lovely weekend and tot ziens!

  4. As you said, the key is to stay true to yourself. The entire social media conundrum will continue to instigate dialogue. Each of us must make our decisions as to how we exchange and interact. Personally, I have barely enough time to deal with WP. I cannot understand how people are so entrenched in so many forms of cyberspace. I’ve considered Instagram, but have a life that may or may not suit this multi-level involvement. Just wanted to take a slight deviation to your poignant discussion about “Likes,” which seems to criss cross into all the social media. You know how much I enjoy your site. It’s part of the pleasure of my blogging journey.

    • Sally, first of all, heartfelt thanks for including my humble blog on your blogging journey. It is a great honor.
      I enjoyed your insightful comment. The social media conundrum is provoking, confronting, and opening new windows in the field of human communication. We may not always see what we are used to, we may not recognize the old ways, we may even like the boundless access to people, and worlds we could never virtually visit before, but we we are experiencing it differently. The Social Media Tasting is a personal experience. Our choices reflect who we are, and don’t hide our personalities. The level of engagement speaks also volumes about what people need (or don’t) from social interactions.
      I have always been an admirer of new technologies, and for that have been tasting many new apps and communities in the cyberspace. I haven’t yet become a cyborg though, and my day has only 24 hours, which I most often like to spend with real people and connections.
      Thank you again! I really appreciated the deviation from the subject.

  5. I’m still mulling over that Kierkegaard quotation: if true, it takes away a certain amount of anguish, doesn’t it? Although you don’t need to justify your decision, you defend it eloquently and courteously, Lucile.

  6. Like this exhaustive response about the topic and , as I’ve always done , appreciate your honesty , your clarity and your frankness.
    I thought a”like” was meant to communicate our approval , now I understand it may only be a problem….
    Send you a big hug……..!
    A.

    • Anna, if there is someone never to be concerned about the recognition of your consideration and appreciation for this blog, is you.
      Grazie mille, carissima.
      Big hug back at you!
      Lucile

  7. Really lovely words, Lucile, so heartfelt! I truly feel people’s personality can come through in their writings. We begin to make a connection as we feel the “vibes” and wonderful compassion as I surely do in your posts. I completely understand your decision, no worries 🙂 Have a blessed weekend!

    • Thank you, Barbara. Your support and understanding means a lot to me. Our connection, even though virtual, is very important to me and key to creating value in my blogging experience. Heartfelt thanks.
      Have a wonderful week.

  8. An insightful and delightful take on the “taboo” subject and on Kierkegaard… I have nothing intelligent left to say, just commenting to let you know that I’m supporting any blogging decision you should take and that I value your company here on WordPress and elsewhere. Now I’d add “hugs” or “xoxo” but I don’t want to get too sentimental 😀

  9. Lucile, you are one of the most eloquent, elegant and insightful people I have ever met. Your response to your first post was just as meaningful and authentic to who you are as a person….
    Cheers to you…the blogosphere is lucky to have you!

  10. Well my lovely, there you have it. Your quote is perfect for this spirited debate. You know that I support whatever decisions you make. I agree with everything you said here and in fact I’ve realized that whenever I comment on a post, I don’t hit the like button. But I always like the comments that people leave on my posts! It’s a fascinating topic made even more fascinating by the reactions to it. This global response that you’ve written is perfection. X

  11. Dear World Famous Lucile… 🙂
    I do love that you address things head on. This was interesting, wasn’t it? Both the responses to your question and the responses to your explanation. And I loved both posts. Oooh, no! I can write “Like”!
    Ha! Too funny!

  12. Beautifully articulated, Lucile. I read this this morning before going to work so you’re words have been with me for about twelve hours already, and I think you just really hit it on the nail, here. Liking posts certainly does mean something different for everyone, and I think you’ve explained your thoughts about the like so well. Likes DON’T translate to views, it is so true. I think you’ve brought up some really important points in both your last post on the subject as well as this one. There are so many different motives that people have for liking (and following, for that matter). It does leave you wondering–do they really like my content when they like my post…or what?

    Such a well done post.

  13. LIKE. Sorry, I’m a liker. LOL! Eloquence personified my dear friend. Reading this on my busy Saturday as I head out the door to windsurf campground through Monday. LIKE and run…that’s me, but I will always take time to leave a comment for you 🙂 Way to stick to your ideals!

  14. Likes can be very strange and get to be addicting. They can be very shallow like you say. I like your quote about making decisions. The likes for me now tell me who is hopefully actually reading my post. And I have a small group that regularly check in with likes and comments. And I really appreciate that. They are my writing community. The people who regularly check in. I try to check in with them as well. I do not think I get too many of the ghost writers lately. I can usually spot them pretty fast if I decide to check out their sites.

  15. Likes are wonderful, but comments make my world go round. I know someone appreciates my work if they take the time to just write one word. A generous comment warms my heart for days, often leading me to write another post, as you have done, dear friend. Thanks for posting.

  16. Wow what have I been missing out on here lol. I’ve obviously some serious catching up to do. I get practical reasons if you are missing out on reading comments due to likes swamping your mobile messenger. I guess I’ve never hit that many that it has become an issue for me.

    Now I won’t be popular here and this doesn’t go against your reasons I totally get them but I do like the like button. If someone walks past me and says “I like your dress” it makes me feel good and smile. This is how it feels to me when someone likes my post be it a naive way to feel. The same for me liking I enjoy being able to show that in a small way because I simply sometimes don’t have time to do otherwise anything else so it’s sad for me to have that taken away but I get why you did it and I will survive lol. Ps well written and good to be true to yourself x

  17. Hi Lucile, “Like” others I missed you early post and discussion on this subject. “Go you” for following your convictions. Reading this did make me think about my own approach. I have to admit I like the like button. Apart from the ghost likes, and I do get a few of them, it lets me know who’s been reading my post. A digital hello, I read the post and I enjoyed it. And I use it that way myself. I’ve never liked a post I haven’t read and enjoyed. I’d love to know what you think about the the matter in a few months time, Lucile. All very, very interesting!

  18. For the love of LIKE! And Lucile gives an epistle in a very sweet way. You should know I’m pulling your legs (as usual). I’m so proud of you and the honest way you have responded to our comments.Big Hug

  19. I hope you will give us an update on how this feels to you after a few months. Not to say that you will regret it, but I wonder if you will get that community feel you want from your blogging if you rely only on comments. I, too, greatly prefer comments to “likes” and I’m even a little more curmudgeonly in my attitude – telling myself sometimes that I am blogging for myself only and damn the “likes” altogether! I am definitely guilty of only “liking” (vs commenting on) some of your posts – you are a prolific poster and I just can’t keep up and comment on all of them, so I have sent you the little “Hi, I’m reading and enjoying” signal more often than not. Knowing that you don’t expect each and every one of us readers to comments on every post makes me feel less stressed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic – very enlightening!

    • Hi Lexklein, thank you so much for dropping by and for your kind and insightful comment. It’s a honor.
      I will not get tired of saying that you really shouldn’t feel obliged to comment. No stress!
      I for one, am enjoying the lack of likes, in the place where they were noticeable, the notifications system. I get less messages and only those I have to reply to.
      So far no regrets. I may share my thoughts in the future if I learn of any relevant differences, though I think that those who come here because they enjoy to read and not comment, may actually feel relieved and enjoy a blogging experience without obligations.
      Time will tell!!
      Thank you!

  20. I realise it might seem funny to add a comment now – the discussion was started quite long ago. Plus it is my first visit here. But the thoughts behind it are really interesting. And although I have to admit I like the “like”-button, just as a short way of saying “hey, cool ideas, would love to comment but don’t really have something new to add” 😉 I can understand why you deleted it. – What would really interest me: what do you think of the whole discussion about the “don’t like”- button on Facebook that is apparently on its way? – I have to admit I watch the whole thing as an outsider, as I am not on Facebook, on purpose.

    • Not funny at all. This subject is always timely. Thanks for visiting!
      I disabled the button around end of June and my regular followers keep asking me to bring it back. Sometimes I feel like I ‘punished’ them for the action of ghosts.
      They have a point when they say that sometimes there isn’t much to say when I post photography rather than text.
      As to the FB’s “don’t like” button, well, I haven’t thought much about that, because I’m a passive user of FB. I automatically share my blog posts there and don’t use it privately, although it still is a way to keep in contact with old friends.
      I don’t see the point of this button, perhaps because I never understood why people need to share every event of their life, from what they eat and do, to the death of their loved ones.
      My guess is that this new button will be abused by trolls as well.
      Thanks again for dropping by and chatting!

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