Like button – I banish you

Banksy Street ArtIt has been five long years since I have you in my life. I first met you on Facebook and I had this instant feeling that we will be good friends. Giving you and receiving you gave a nice feeling. This was the ideal way to show appreciation in that world. Nowadays you have different forms. Sometimes you are a heart, sometimes a star, or a thumbs up. You feed people with the same idea and no offence, but you are EVERYWHERE. You just took over our lives. I don’t even remember how I expressed my feelings before you. How I told someone, that I like how they look, or the way their dogs lay on the floor. That their baby is cute or that I like that new scarf. Probably I had to call them or say that to their faces. Scandal right? Now all I have to do is click and it’s done. No interaction needed.

When I started this blog I had the same ride. I was happy to see the stars coming, collecting likes and followers. I knew my readers liked me and it helped me value myself and appreciate my writing. Since I started to rely on feedback and not my own judgement I instantly started to question myself when my post didn’t have a starry-starry night. I needed to stop for a moment.

Is my writing reflected in the number of likes I receive? In the number of my followers? Am I not happy enough that there are people who even read my posts?  They give me their time and their open mind. My dear Reader, I hope that whoever you are, you find some joy in my words, or that you say: oh yes, I am not alone with this thought or feeling. Do I really need you to click on a star or a like or do I need to express my feelings in words and try to touch your heart? Do I want to share something with you, like a human being or do I have a price tag of: like, comment, follow? Would Shakespeare get a zillion likes if he had a blog? Would Jane Austen count her followers? Would Picasso be on Instagram?  Is sharing about giving or is it about receiving?

I am not sure about the answers anymore. You my friend, the like button, control my mind. You are not for my benefit anymore, you started to become my foe, my instability, my insecure question mark. You shouldn’t be a goal in anything I do. You are not a success rate and you are not a reflection of things that matter in life. You were created as a game but I started to take you seriously. I need some time without you, to find my balance again and to value myself based on true criteria.

Like button – I banish you!*

You, who read this, take these words that come from my heart, taste them, judge them, feel them. Take what you need, a thought, a picture, a memory or inspiration. If you ever need more, you are always welcomed here. Only leave any kind of note if you want me to find and share your thoughts too. Everything is free here.

*The line “I banish you” is from the great drama of  Shakespeare: Coriolanus

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18 thoughts on “Like button – I banish you

  1. You are definitely not alone in feeling this way. It takes conscious effort to remind myself to create/write things that are true to myself, as opposed to what I think people will like reading (and hence obtaining more ‘likes’). But one thing I’ve realised is that when I do receive ‘likes’ for a piece of work that I’m truly proud of or for sharing something truly from my heart, I feel a greater sense of affirmation than if it were something I did just because I think that people will like it more. And I think that’s where the ‘like’ button works – when it reminds you that there are people out there just like you.

    • I absolutely agree with you that it is the best feeling to know that there are people who resonate with my feeligs but having the like hunting in mind when I write is something that I would really want to avoid. :)

  2. This is why I think almost everyone’s earlier blog posts are the best. Something happens to a writer of a blog when he/she becomes all too aware of feedback in “likes” or even comments. Do you have any tips on how to stay authentic?
    I’m just moving to wordpress after blogging on xanga for 6 years! Nice to “meet” you!

    • Hi Shanda, welcome in the WordPress community! I am sure you will like it here. I am still a newcomer myself and I don’t have too much experience yet. All I know is that I want to stay true to my inner voice and find people who like that, rather than becoming something that is required by an audience. Looking forward reading your posts!

  3. Every blogger has a struggle in getting likes. I do have struggle with people to like my posts even if i write the best.
    I did the following things:
    1) I invented my own style. I used a ppt, put a pic of the movie, and wrote few points on its adjacent sides. The points are more real with the message of movie script. Check Movie Category on my blog.
    2) Go to Settings>Sharing, and select the checkbox – Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results
    Now if someone visits my blog, he/she may like the post without opening the post separately. It helps me get more likes on the blog. I shared this with few bloggers too.
    3) I made youtube video and it has similar content that i had in first post. But the difference of likes were higher for youtube. I understand people are lazy in reading content.
    4) I also paid to facebook for ads, and then stopped. It was my blog’s facebook page.
    5) I printed pamphlets and distributed in newspaper, but no likes got.
    I do face this problem that you had, but i still believe in keeping Like button on fb.
    I have disappointment for like/comment with blog’s facebook page, and believe in closing it.
    regards

    • I decided that I want to let go of the whole “like” idea. If my readers like what I do, they will come back for more and I will be happy. If it is not their cup of tea, they will not come back but I still write for myself and for the ones who like to read it. In the end it should be about writing and not about feedback. Despite my new approach to this, some people might find your tips useful, so thank you for sharing them.

  4. I love how your attempt at forcing communication. I try to do the same. How did you disable the “like” button? I did it once but people still had the ability to like. Confused.

    • People can like your post in the news feed but it will only show to you and not on your post. Having readers who are willing to engage with my writing is the best thing ever. Thank you for your thoughts. :)

      • I wish I could disable it there. But do I have to do it post by post or can I just disable the whole blog?

        Sorry for the delay in checking out your blog. Had problems with WordPress app.

      • You go to your dashboard- settings – sharing and you choose that wordpress likes are on “by post”. You will still receive some from news feed but it will only be visible for you. Hope this will help :) You can not disable the like button in wordpress news feed unfortunatelly.

  5. I’ve been thinking about if I should disable the like button. Lots of likes but almost no conversation. It becomes so much like an echo chamber.
    One good thing though is knowing which posts are liked the most (or more than others). Like, there was a post that I thought “I’m sure no one will like this” and it still got a lot of likes.
    I guess it’s a double-edged sword. If you give people a toy trumpet, or whistle, they’ll blow it rather than speak. Only one note, but plenty of noise.

    • I think I still can see the “popular” posts by the stats because it clearly shows, what is read more than others. After all we want to share our thoughts and want people to read it. I can only hope that people like what I write, but I would rather have conversations than the “toy trumpet”. This is a very good word for the like button. :) Thank you for stopping by.

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