The curious case of the virtual ‘like’

A few days ago while exchanging pleasantries with a friend of mine on Twitter, i had ‘favorited’ his post, and bang the reply came that i had extended the nation of the virtual like from Facebook on to Twitter. Yes, i was taken aback with the extent that Facebook-ization has enveloped my life and the legion of social media addicts. We engage with friends, acquaintances and online pals on a regular basis, and have translated one to one human interaction on the language on online space. The vocabulary of online interactions has exponentially increased certainly, with a dis-like button on You Tube, to express dissatisfaction. May be a kiss (with Valentine’s Day around the corner) and a slap is on the way (a very needed button indeed), with the ‘poke’ already around. We can like a comment, and now a like, does not really mean that we have to like, like it but it is just an acknowledgement that the comment has been well, acknowledged, received and read.

Social Media has about a billion users around the planet, with local languages expanding the reach further. This is changing how we interact in a highly connected, but disconnected generation. We might not know our next door neighbor very well in person, but we chat on Google Talk everyday saying Hi or Salaam. Has our quality of interaction bettered over the years? Or are we doing social media because some friends are on it.  We are chronicling our lives online, every event is being recorded in pictures, tag in to a place or simply status updates. The Cool Factor is certainly contributing to the buzz. We feel good at the end of the day when we get a like or a comment, and even better a meaning one on our thoughts that we have shared. This can even be a conversation initiator in the real world, the next time when we catch up with a friend.

I get to read some of the most amazing stuff posted by my friends on Facebook and Twitter and also the equally absurd content.  We the ‘Like’ -o-philic generation, we get to like stuff miles away from the actual event, share some insanely creative stuff.  Technology is like a kitchen knife, it can cut veggies as well as can be applied to heinous ends. It is the values which matter behind the technology and not the technology itself. Facebook is well on its way to create a lot of wealth for its shareholders through its IPO, well, thats something to ‘like’ about!


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