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How not to use the Facebook 'like' button

Folks, its time to slow down and be more aware that you can send the wrong message by "liking" certain things on Facebook.

Last week's Poked column was about the problems that come with the term we over use on Facebook. The "Like" button has infected every crevice of Facebook sharing. In this busy world -- and when we don't know how else to respond -- we simply click "Like" to show something has our attention.

Why are people clicking "like" to stories on the Herald's Facebook page about the horrific catastrophe in Japan? Or liking a story about a child murdered? Because they like the art of journalism? That's just a poor attempt at interaction that makes the users look moronic and insensitive.

And what about "liking" when a friend writes a status message about being sad, or ill? Is that how people try to say "I feel your pain?" And if you just want to see what Charlie Sheen is up to, do you dare risk your professional reputation by clicking that you "like" him, just so you can get updates?

Check out the column and share your two cents. Have you fallen prey to the "like" button syndrome of quickly sharing and showing acknowledgment, rather than taking the time to comment in a sensitive situation?


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Jim Hamby

My daughter and I are facebook friends, but I am not facebook friendly with her mother, my ex-wife, and have desire to be. My daughter posted somerhing about my grandson, and my ex commented, and I was able to see what she had written, and I "liked" her comment. The next day I quickly looked on facebook, and seen where my ex had wrote some harsh things about an ex trying to friend her but did not mention any names. She has had many ex's since she and I split. I was wondering since I clicked "like" to her comment, could it be possible that might have sent a friend request from me? This makes me sick to think that could have happened because I can't stand this woman, and the last thing I want is for her to think I want to be friends with her on facebook..

Shirley Wong

the 'like' button has extended from the meaning of liking something to a way to show compassion, empathy and support. Facebook can't make a button for every expression and generating spam through comments (which will probably all end up saying the same thing) is stupid. Sometimes its better not to say anything but to show that you acknowledge something through an action, not words.
It seems to me like you're incapable of understanding basic human behavior and you'd rather compute the literal meaning for everything.

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