Mama Sonshine

thoughts from a mother of boys, a wife, a scientist and an artist

The Like Button, Comments and Anonymity on the Internet

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{click} for source

We have all seen it, the Like Button.  I don’t know if Facebook was the first to add a like option, or if it was a blog like WordPress to do it.  The history lesson seemed irrelevant to me at the moment.

I just know it has powered a craze to get liked!  I enjoy the fact that I can show my support of a comment or picture without having to leave a comment saying how great the post was.  Although, I find myself looking for a ‘like’ button on everything!  I want a ‘like’ button on emails, texts, phone calls, things I see walking around….

However, I have found that I now hold my liking in reserve.  I never like the viral pictures that float around Facebook.  I don’t know why but I just can’t do it.  Even the ones that are attached to a picture of an object and  say “like if you remember this item.”

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I saw this picture on Pinterest once and thought it was so funny.  I tried to find the original source, but can’t.  I have the link to where I found the picture though.

The other trend that has been happening to is “If I get 1,000,000,000 my dad said I could get a dog” or go to Disneyland, or still love me…or some other such nonsense.  LikeMyKidsI don’t ‘like’ these posts either.  I don’t know why but I hold my likes in reserve for family and friends that deserve them.

Then why do I hold my breath till someone likes my post?  And really what difference does it make?  Do we get a reward for having a large number of ‘likes’?

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We all need validation, for the things we say, for the things we do, how we look, and everything in between.  It makes us feel good and, well….Liked.  I love to see the notification on the top banner of my blog indicating someone has liked one of my posts, or the similar notification on Facebook.

It is nice to get comments on our blogs because it means someone is reading them and enjoying the words we have put down to paper, err, um, I mean screen.   With this ability is the option to not reveal whom is leaving the comment.  Not that you have to put that much information down when you comment, nor does it even need to be accurate.

I feel this anonymity has led us to be less tactful with the things we say.  Recently I came across a pin on Pinterst about how to cut your boy’s hair.  I wasn’t looking for a tutorial on cutting my son’s hair at home, but I went to the blog to check it out.  I know how to use a razor and a pair of scissors but I don’t think I would attempt more than a buzz cut at home.

However I wanted to look read the tutorial to see if maybe, just maybe I could cut my son’s ragamuffin hair (see picture above), that way people will stop calling him a girl!  I was going to leave a comment about how nice a tutorial it was and would love a video, but I wanted to make sure no one else had made a similar comment.  I don’t like to ask a question that had already been asked and answered.  So I started reading the comments and was appalled at the rudeness of some of them.

There were others in her profession that didn’t like the fact that she posted a tutorial about something they all spent money to learn.  That lead others to write in her defense and then others to write more negative comments about her post, then others to write negative comments about the negative comments.  Her innocent post meant to help mothers turned into a debate about blog posts.

Upon reading the comments I noticed that the comments that said bad things about the author were written by anonymous.  It made me wonder if those people would have been so forth coming with their negative comments if they couldn’t be anonymous.

It is a lot harder to say mean things when we are face to face with people and they know our name.  I felt a strong urge to stand up and defend her with my own comment, but I would then be just adding fuel to the fire.  The comment section of her blog post it not a place to debate or berate other people for their opinion.  And that would make me no better than the other negative people.

The great thing about the internet is: we don’t have to read what we don’t want to!  I know, shocking right?  If you don’t like a blog post or website or someone’s opinion, don’t read it.

There is a lot out there in cyber space.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad.  Some of it is positive, some of it is negative.  Some of it is correct and some of it is wrong.  There is no need to add to the negativity and false information.

I don’t think we should “like” everything, and I don’t think we should hide behind anonymity to berate others work.  So please be nice, play well with others, and don’t compete for a number of  ‘likes’.

but go ahead and ‘like’ this post…

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