When Twitter’s “Like” Button Malfunctions
It’s annoying AF
I have a bone to pick with the “like” button mainly because its mere existence is an affront to human nature. There’s nothing wrong about admiring something or someone — but suddenly the idea of such a thing has lost the fragrance of seduction because of the daily assignment of initiating this once meaningful emotion.
We no longer have to worry about deciphering whether we either “love” or “like” because at this point both of those things mean pretty much the same thing. Perhaps the social media gods purposely tasked users with the job of being too casual with words instead of actually weighing the sentiment behind the clicks.
They slyly chose the wrong “L-word” and the consequences are showing up with the weirdness of misplaced endorsements.
Take for instance my ongoing quest to perfect my engagement on Twitter — my platform of choice and the place that engulfs way more time than necessary.
My number of followers continue to hover around 1,850 — with dips and increases that still haven’t managed to threaten the 2,000 mark. The tweets that I unleash rarely garner the kind of attention I amass when I respond to the tweets of more illustrious folk with legion of fans.
That fact doesn’t bother me — and to be honest — I cherish my modest persona and have no intentions of ruining a good thing by making another attempt to be verified — or plot ways to increase the number of bots who are at my beck and call.
I like being “a nobody” on Twitter because there’s no way I could gracefully handle the burden of being “somebody” on a landscape that will give the Wild Wild West a run for its money.
That being said — there are times when I fall short of my expectations when you consider that I’ve been playing this game long enough to know better. I mean it makes no sense that I’m still blindsided by trolls who readily respond to my tweet about Cardi B and how I don’t give a fuck. Once it’s clear that I will have to dedicate a good portion of my afternoon duking it out with faceless losers — I have no choice but to remove the evidence and get back to living.
But even those instances pale in comparison to the nightmare of watching your tweets blow up on the heels of a verified user — who made the mistake of “liking” or “retweeting” your reaction to what they said.
Suddenly your notifications won’t leave you alone — and at first the thirst for you feels soothingly validating as you you garner a couple of new followers and immediately enjoy the ceremony of being “liked” by so many people that don’t know you — and are most likely responding to the instructions of the person they “like” more than you.
Then your faculties sound the alarm loud enough for your emotions to re-surface — as your human tendencies betray your “high” and force you to wonder why anyone would “like” the short testimony of that time your airport layover turned into a racial attack.
I get retweeting it as a way of showing solidarity but “liking” it seems both thoughtless and senseless since I could assume that the “likes” are meant to convey that what I’m sharing is appealing — when it really isn’t.
There’s nothing to “like” about the vision of me being stranded at an airport in Minneapolis — waiting for my name to be called by the White women behind the counter and then not hearing my name — which forces me to approach them and inquire about my status — only to discover that they purposely refused to say my name because it was too difficult to pronounce.
Users “liked” what I had to say but had nothing to say about it. The “likes” were supposed to serve as their acknowledgment and eventually it became annoying AF — and I was forced to bow out by deleting my ill-fated contribution.
Truth be told — I would’ve been more than happy to turn those “likes” to tweets— from users who want to offer their empathy or share similar tales of woe.
The “like” button has become the sign of dysfunction in our society due to the technicalities that often rise from its malfunction.
Studies have shown how so very dependent we’ve become on the number of “likes” that are positioned underneath the selfies that took over an hour to perfect — and of course all that hard work has to yield winning results.
When those results are less than stellar — it weakens our egos — especially when those that we consider as “less attractive” somehow surpass our goal — leaving us in the dust. We gaze at both posts simultaneously — trying to calculate how we came up short and vow to get it right next time.
Being “liked” used to require effort and grace — and sometimes those successes almost gave “love” the need for a decent re-evaluation.
But — that’s just the point. The great minds behind the tools of our existence conceived the words with the intention of dis-organizing how we relate to each other with the armor of emptiness and the laziness that never demands the privilege of expression.
We can “like” the cute videos of baby elephants kicking empty buckets in the mud and then scroll up and “like” the image of Syrian babies covered in a mix of blood and dust. And then we can also “like” and “retweet” the words of wisdom from activists who always know what to say to get us motivated enough to share what they have to say.
The “like” button absolutely ruined us — with its maddening presence that constantly nags us into submitting enough evidence — to prove how we’re slowly but surely abandoning the will to ponder the inspiration behind turning the pitifully transparent “hearts” into the hue of our life’s blood.
We have ultimately killed our ability to distinguish between “liking” and “loving” and have instead merged the two with the magic of clicks.
And I really don’t like that at all.