Refraining from Like’s on Facebook for a year

I have not ‘liked’ a single post on Facebook for over a year. fblike1
I didn’t realize how addicted I was to it until I refrained from liking any more posts. I didn’t realize how mindless my internet browsing had become. I read an article about this guy who liked every post and how his Facebook feed changed to reflect his recent likes. How was what I ‘Like’ shaping my internet experience?
How much of what Facebook shows me do I really like? A photo of a friend I hadn’t seen in 2 years, someone’s touching story about a life changing event, a snarky letter about yoga, an elephant playing in water, did I really like these things?
YES! (Who doesn’t like an elephant playing in water?)
It was easy to click the like button and look at the next thing, but is my life simply touch and go? Double tap and move on . . . I thought we got connected on Facebook to connect and not to simply collect likes. If ‘liking’ things controls an algorithm of what is shown to me on Facebook, mindlessly liking posts, videos, and photos will slowly take away control of my thoughts and actions. Mindlessly I feed into advertisers and become a consumer, rather than being inclusive, genuine, and real.
I could simply do away with Facebook all together. It is no longer an app on my phone and I only check it at home. BUT . . . that connection factor. I have friends who live exciting lives all over the world and I like to share in their joy and passions.
So I removed liking things and began commenting on posts instead.
That photo of a friend, what did I like about it, what feeling was it evoking? Let me share that with them. I used my words.
A strange thing started to happen, we connected. We bonded over that moment and if only for a moment I wasn’t one of 36 other people who liked a post. I wasn’t lost in the sea of Facebook anymore. They talked to me about what was going on in the photo and life became personal again. When a friend shared a touching story that made them vulnerable, my heart opened to them too. We became more than a thumbs up hand gesture to each other.
I don’t know how or if it effects Facebook’s algorithm. I’m sure it does, but it has made my internet practice more mindful. Being mindful of who’s posts made an impact on my life, connecting and sharing with them how important they are, I’m making my experience happier. And I get to see more photos of elephants playing in water, and that stupid dog rolling down a hill.


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