In defense of the ‘like’ button

I recently received some very rude comments on my blog from somebody whose blog post I’d clicked on, simply because I’d clicked on their ‘like’ button. I’d never had any previous interaction with this individual; and this experience brought on the following reflection.

First of all, what was their criticism? Let’s get into that to understand what we’re talking about. In brief, they accused me of merely ‘liking’ their blog post and not taking the time to comment on it (of course, they expressed this in a much more obnoxious way). They also accused me of only pretending to be welcoming and and intruding on their blog space with my ‘like’. Because of their off-putting tone, I simply blocked them from commenting on my blog and deleted their comments, but here are a couple of thoughts I’d like to put out there for our community.

I. You can disable the ‘like’ button

Personally speaking, I would not recommend that anyone disable the ‘like’ button on their blog, but some bloggers, for their own various reasons, only want to receive ‘comments’ on their posts and don’t like receiving ‘likes’. So, putting aside my personal perspective on this approach for the moment, suffice it to say that anyone who doesn’t want to receive ‘likes’ on their blog posts can simply disable them.

I’m not going to provide instructions, but itself provides step-by-step instructions for all of us. Take a look – it’s very easy to do.

II. Receiving ‘likes’ causes no harm

I’ve seen other bloggers express the idea that receiving ‘likes’ from others on their blog posts essentially turns their blogs into billboards for others. Honestly, I simply don’t see it this way at all. The ‘likes’ we receive take up a tiny amount of space on our blogs, and there can potentially be many, many of them… So many, I’d say, that it’s unlikely anyone would take the time to click through every single user icon left by people who ‘liked’ a particular blog post.

If anything, a ‘like’ on one of your blog posts is more likely (please forgive me this pun) to draw your own attention to the individual who left you that ‘like’. And you can simply ignore ‘likes’ – if you consider them meaningless, for example, just ignore them… No biggie.

III. ‘Likes’ draw attention to your blog

Most bloggers, including me for sure, blog in part because they want their works to be viewed by others, right?

Well, let’s say you see a particular blog post that has received a lot of ‘likes’… What would your reaction be? Wouldn’t that make you a tad more curious, at the very least? Wouldn’t you be more likely to click on a stranger’s blog post if there are indications that many other people have taken the time to interact with it?

For me, ‘likes’ are a sign of what I’d call “social buy-in” – they are good to receive because they are likely to draw more potential readers and friends to my blog.

IV. ‘Likes’ are an easy way to express appreciation

Even the most active bloggers on WordPress don’t have the time to ‘comment’ on every single blog post they see and appreciate. Many of us have jobs, families, and other responsibilities that keep us busy. I do, for sure.

So, in this context, dropping a ‘like’ for someone is sometimes all that I have time to do. After blogging for a few years, I’ve developed a lot of relationships with other bloggers; and those friendships of mine always take precedence for me – I always take the time to read my friends’ blog posts before perusing other people’s blogs. My friends actively interact with me here at The Skeptic’s Kaddish, and I do my best to reciprocate, which doesn’t leave much time.

V. ‘Likes’ potentially lead to real relationships

I’m pretty sure that almost every single friendship I’ve formed via WordPress began with a ‘like’. When I was very new at blogging, more experienced bloggers were ‘liking’ my posts, drawing my attention to their blogs, and this is how I ended up meeting so many of you lovely people.

Of course, as our blogs grow, we form meaningful relationships with other bloggers through other means, like interacting with one another’s writing prompts, which is an even better way of beginning an interaction with someone. But… this is not at all to suggest that ‘liking’ other writers’ blog posts doesn’t have its place. Of course it does!

VI. Finally, on a personal note

It wouldn’t take someone new to The Skeptic’s Kaddish much more than a casual perusal to see that I take friendship, community-building, and reciprocity seriously.

The most ironic thing for me about those rude comments I received a couple days ago is that a different, kindly approach could have easily led to a friendly relationship.

I don’t discriminate against smaller blogs – if somebody interacts with me meaningfully, I always check out their blog, and this may lead to long-lasting relationships and even friendships.

Can anyone follow or form a meaningful relationship with every single blogger on WordPress? No, of course not. But – you never know, do you? You never know when a ‘like’ will lead to an exchange of ‘comments’ and eventually a ‘follow’ and a true friendship. Why not think of ‘likes’ as potential connections with other human beings? I do.

138 thoughts on “In defense of the ‘like’ button”

  1. I mean, I do not always have an Earth shattering comment to make about the post. I like it. I look at it as, “oh a new reader stopped and liked my words. Cool, I’ll check theirs out.”

  2. You did the right thing, I’d have probably gotten into a row with that person but thank you for this post, now I know what to do with this niche of bloggers haha Loved this blog.
    Ps: I always cherish your likes. I actually wait for them ‘cuz they’re usually the first ones on my posts, you’re an awesome addition to this community, David. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

  3. I am so sorry that you made such negative experiences on here!

    Reading your thoughts on this, I really enjoyed. Social media is often viewed as negative, and while many trends and group pressures have negative aspects, I am really happy when someone points out the social aspect of it all. Most of us really use this to connect in one or the other way, and that is a positive aspect of it all, I think ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. โค Layla โค ~ thank you so much for commenting. TBH, I barely think of blogging as social media… I mean, it is -technically- but we put so much effort into our blog posts and content… It's not just link sharing and snippets of information with pretty pictures… It's really personal!


      1. That is so true! It is a medium with so much potential! What I meant was that it still really amazes me how often it helps to connect people from places so far apart, either geographically, or culturally etc. It’s an aspect of blogging I deeply enjoy.
        Best wishes!

  4. I feel like one benefit of WP over Blogspot (aside from the not ugly layout and not being linked to one’s Gmail) is that there is a low-effort form of engagement with a post in the form of a “like” button. Personally, I don’t give a shit if the spammers abuse it. It is weird to me how much other bloggers care about the like button/abuses of it

  5. So many valid points here and I have personally made many relationships on WP. Kindness and respect has drawn others to my blog. Needless to say, I โ€œlikeโ€ the Likes. ๐Ÿฅฐ

  6. I’m so sorry you had those negative comments. It happened to me as well one time and it’s quite hurtful when you have the kind of intention and heart that goes into your work like I do. I read a lot and yet can’t read every word every day, so with those I trust their work I like. If I noticed I missed a bunch of their posts (I hate when that happens but it does unfortunately), I will catch up and “spam like” which really isn’t that but more like darn so sorry but I do read those cover to cover since it was “my bad”. Win some loose some and those people are better off out of our sphere, Click. gone.,.! ๐Ÿ’—

  7. Anonymity seems to be an excuse for the kind of rudeness one who hesitate to say face to face. You dealt with it well though. Personally I like likes – I leave them as an addition to a comment or simply to say I’ve visited and appreciated but cannot add anything more worthwhile to comments already left. I never follow a like but will always check out a commenter
    I do hate the likers who like a comment – these are mostly spammers. I turned this facility off but it can be overridden. So too can the likes – switched off in the admin board , spam bots run amok down the Reader instead.

    1. ๐Ÿ’˜ ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป Laura ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ’˜ ~ for sure; spammers exist… I think of that as an inevitable evil, but it’s hardly a bothersome one for me.

  8. Your friends know you, David. Some are just lost in this realm, this sea of vastness in which we travel.โ€ฆ
    You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours.
    Huh? I don’t have a blog, Ben. My comment was in defense of your original point. Nothing wrong with your (or anyone’s) ‘Likes’. Cheers, VM.

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