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What Does a Facebook “Like” Really Mean?

LIKE it or not, it recently dawned on me that I now live in a short-cut and abbreviated world where sometimes, people may not understand my shorthand.

While I was sitting at one of the many airport boarding gates I get the pleasure to sit at (checking out Facebook to pass the time), this question started running through my mind, “What does it really mean when I LIKE something on someone’s FB timeline?  Can it mean multiple things?”  I found myself beginning to try and answer these questions and they just started flowing so I thought I’d jot them down.  I certainly can’t speak for anyone else, but this is what I came up with.

A LIKE can mean…

  1. A Quick Way of Letting Someone Know I’m Thinking About Them:  I may add a comment or I may not, but if I just fly by a post with a simple LIKE, they know I’m thinking of them.
  2. A Means By Which to Acknowledge Something:  Each time I travel (for work or pleasure), I always check-in and out of each location I am in so my step-mother knows I made it ok.  It’s a quick and easy way for her to know I’m all good.  I always wait for her LIKE of my check-in so I can rest a bit easier knowing she knows I’m ok.
  3. I Agree:  The most common reason for LIKING a comment/post is because you agree with the statement or sentiment posted.  I LIKE that because it resonates with me on some level.
  4. I Don’t Agree:  Interestingly enough, a LIKE can also mean that you DON’T LIKE something.  How? If a friend posts a comment about themselves (or a loved one) being sick or enduring a terrible tragedy; one certainly doesn’t LIKE that that has happened, but a LIKE signifies empathy, sympathy (or see #1).  Often times one would follow up with a comment, but if they don’t, it could be seen as a really big hug for them.

I’m sure there are many more reasons for LIKING something (and if you have a suggestion, feel free to post it here), but these are the ones that came to mind for me.

So, the next time I LIKE one of your posts, know full well that LIKELY….

  1. I’m thinking about you, or….
  2. I agree with what you posted, or….
  3. I am sending you a big hug-even if I don’t say a word.

Please share this if you LIKE it!  🙂


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