A Moment in Time: July 17st, 2012. The Power of a “Like”
Let’s face it. The Internet has changed forever our way of interacting with each other. Relationships keep evolving as I write these words and there is no doubt that technology is proving us that unconditional love —that is the essence that connects us all— is something more powerful than anything else. As a writer, I spend many hours of my day in the virtual realms where I do the research for my creations, and I keep in touch with like-minded people throughout the world that support my work and have become friends. Yes, true friends.
I’ve been one of those fortunate human beings who have witnessed how our world has changed at an accelerated pace through the last three decades. I still have in my memory those days when the only way of communicating with a friend that lived abroad was through typewritten or handwritten letters in stamped envelopes that one had to send through the postal service. Then the email came as a more efficient and faster way of sending messages, attachments, etc. But emails were still not enough. So the creative minds continued to search for new solutions until the use of social networking sites became what they are today: the new alternative for human interaction. As a result, the “culture of the Like” (synonyms may vary from site to site) has come here to stay.
I’m always amazed of how much one can tell of someone you have never met, through the way they interact in the virtual world. Some people can be so generous and open-minded, willing to connect, offering a nice word or simply “liking” you as a friend. Others can be so scanty and close-minded. They can have you for years as their virtual friend without even letting you know they exist, or even worse, without noticing that YOU exist in their world!
A few questions keep boggling my mind. What would someone lose by making a “like” to a post that a virtual friend shares? When it comes to our demonstrations of appreciation, why is it that some of us can be so generous and others so stingy? Yeah I know, some will say it is only because they don’t have enough time. Others might not even think of it as such a big deal. And last but not least, we might even find those who would say: “who cares.”
And this is precisely where I wanted to arrive. You see, after using social networking sites in very active ways for the last five years, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of people DO CARE! A simple “like” that you can offer by effortlessly clicking a button with your finger, can mean so much to so many…
Yes, for years I have been “liking” and commenting to posts from people that I haven’t physically met —and receiving the same from them of course. Only positive results have come from this new habit I have developed as it is through all that “liking” that I have been able to connect with so many wonderful people out there, impossible for me to find any other way.
When you make a “like” you’re sending a smile to another person, a tacit gesture that says: “I acknowledge you.” I believe that this is one of the greatest things technology is allowing us to put into practice: the power to acknowledge that we’re all equally present here and now, and all equally important and worthy.
I am a promoter of smiles. In the real world I have felt the power of giving a smile to a stranger and how that smile has changed a life forever. In the virtual world I have felt the same by giving my “likes”. They are truly powerful “virtual smiles” that can benefit giver and receiver if offered with real care.
So next time you see something you “Like” on the Internet why don’t just go ahead and press the Like button as a way of smiling and acknowledging that other that “you don’t know”? It is harmless for the giver and yet so meaningful for the receiver…
Until next time, and don’t forget to be love!