The “like button” twirls, curtsies and waves goodbye (or so we think)

Yesterday the “like button” twirled, curtsied and exited stage left, waving merrily goodbye as she left.

Ms. Like Button and I chatted over tea earlier in the day while the Holy poured.

I laid the cards on the table as we munched our healthy cookies.

“Ms. Like Button,” I started, “I’m feeling like it’s time for you to go on the WordPress blog.”

“Why, in heaven’s name?” she asked, truly nonplussed.

“For many reasons,” said I. “Many of people who push your button seem like bots or folks just wanting visitors to their own websites. They’re not REALLY liking the posts. They’re just scammers. Or they want people to visit their blogs. Many of them don’t give two hoots.”

“Oh well? Who cares?” said she. “I don’t care where my likes come from. They’re fun!”

“And the only ones that can press you anyway have to be logged into WordPress. Seriously, that doesn’t feel fair. And I don’t like the comparison game–how part of the mind can sometimes start noticing which posts get likes and which don’t. It just doesn’t feel peaceful.

“There’s also a part of me that feels like you distract from what’s really important. Like the ego sometimes gets a thrill when someone likes the post–but I’ve learned what matters is that the post is given to the Holy. That I sit throughout the day and feel love for what was expressed through these typing fingers. I don’t want to depend on externals for kicks any more. Just the Holy.”

“You are no fun,” she sighed, polishing her fingernails. “What’s wrong with you? Besides look at the likes that come from beloved friends and long-time readers. Sometimes folks just push me to say–hi–I’ve read–I liked your post–but I don’t want to comment. Give ’em a break, girlfriend, let them push me! I like the attention.”

“Yes,” I agreed. “Those likes feel good. Mmm-hmmm.”

Holy poured more tea from her blue flowered teapot. Ms. Like Button requested coffee. Holy brewed a cup, still smiling enigmatically at both of us.

“Do you think you might take a vacation for a couple of weeks? Maybe to another little cabin in the woods? This 75-day commitment is an opportunity to experiment. Let’s just gently try something new. Get rid of you–I mean you take a break–and we’ll see how things feel in December.”

“I don’t want to visit a cabin in the woods. How boring. You don’t get it, do you? I like people. I like likes.” She paused a long time looking at the chickadees flitting outside the kitchen window. “OK, since I’m not a real human being–I am an exciting like button–I will not get coronavirus. I am flying to New York City and visiting the Statue of Liberty. And I am gonna visit YOUR son’s new house in New Jersey, too–take THAT! Hooray!”

She curtsied, exited stage left, exuberantly waving goodbye. I shrugged helplessly to the Holy–she actually laughed out loud but seemed sympathetic–waltzed over the computer and found the like disabling button.

The story should have ended there. I should have understood why the Holy laughed.

The best laid plans of mice and men…

It’s all bull

Apparently you can’t really truly 100% turn off the like button.

WordPress readers often read your blog in a cyberhome called the “Reader”. If anyone meanders over to the Reader they can like as they please. The button refuses to disengage. So you’re still getting likes whether you want to experiment or not. (Email or Facebook or other readers can’t find the like button, though, so it’s a catch-22.)

I phoned the like button.

“Hey, honey,” I cajoled, “I can’t turn you off. Can you come home?”

“Wait a sec,” she replied. “I’m on Wall Street now. Remember that picture of you and the bull? Too bad YOU can’t travel now. What did you say?”

“You have to go back to work,” I sighed. “You can’t be turned off.”

“I could have told you that!” she cackled delightedly. “But don’t worry, I can remote from New York City. Except they won’t let you sit in the cafes right now–heading to get a latte and bagel and see Ms. Liberty. Home in a couple of weeks!”

What do you readers think about the like button? Do you like or dislike or really don’t care two hoots? What will you add to the conversation while the Holy pours you a mug of tea or coffee?

Day 29 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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56 Responses to The “like button” twirls, curtsies and waves goodbye (or so we think)

  1. leelah saachi says:

    Well . that was food for thought 🙂 I will from now on promise to LIKE only when reading makes me feel fuzzy and a bit happy and grateful.There’s a lot of speculation and comparison going on in me when I COUNT my likes , and I don’t like THAT. Comments are much better – but they take longer time from the commenter of course

    • Kathy says:

      Uhhgg, Leelah, I agree–counting likes can be so counterproductive and not feel good. As a person who likes stats, I try to stay away from that. But sometimes don’t succeed. I think I push like buttons for all sorts of reasons. The warm-fuzzy-feel-good response. Just to say hi, I was here. To say “I like you”. Glad to write something that is making both of us think about this!

  2. jeffstroud says:

    Ego playing games with you this morning. Holy and self dancing around testing your commitment to what you are saying and doing each more? Is she, is she… the Like button is there whether you like it or not!
    I know there is humor here as well as our/your need for affirmation causing that stir of uncomfortableness. I have been there so many times. I have to pause to ask myself what and why does it matter? Checking on my needs, desires, checking to see if I need to get centered? Yes, I usually do!
    I have had several likes to my blog which is of course not active at this time. That always make me reconsider why it is not active? Plus it offers me an opportunity to re-read my post.

  3. Barb says:

    Dear Kathy, I didn’t even realize the LIKE button wants to be pressed. I’ve never pressed it though I’m one of your loyal long- time readers. I think I remember it from years ago when I was still on Facebook. I guess I’ll continue to ignore it and just comment or e-mail you. I like that connection. I hope you do to.

    • Kathy says:

      Barb, you’re on Blogger aren’t you? If so, you probably don’t even have the opportunity to press the “like” button here. But no matter! While the Like Button may want to be pressed, the true heart of me doesn’t care at all. I much prefer to read your comments and emails. Heart gold!

  4. dorannrule says:

    Most times I like posts because they are short, to the point, have fabulous pics or because I am learning something or enjoying the feelings they create. Other times I start to read and hit “like” because I know the author’s work, love everything she writes, and I want her to know that but I just do not have time to read a whole long long long offering. Yes, the pandemic is supposed to give us all more time but not necessarily. I have one blogger friend who does not have a like button. I love everything she writes but am forced to comment. Often I do not feel qualified to comment but would like her to know how much I appreciate her posts. “LIKE” is the same as a smile or a hug or a lazy way of saying Thankyou.

    • Kathy says:

      Dor, thanks for your thoughts on this. There are certainly lots of reasons behind why we hit the like button. When I see you or others (with whom I have a long-term blogging relationship) share a like it feels good and genuine and expresses just what you described. I like how you view it as a hug or thank you. So thank YOU!

  5. Carol says:

    I often push the like button – in fact, I rely on the like button to let you know I’ve been by, I’ve read your post, I’ve enjoyed your post, but I really have nothing to say at this moment, or this is just one of those days that doesn’t have a lot of words to share. I “like” when someone hits my like button, but I really don’t keep track of numbers.

    • Kathy says:

      It sounds like you have a good relationship with no drama with your own like button, Carol. I am a person who can get obsessed with stats–have been challenged by coronavirus stats this year–so any time I can cut back on my numbers tracking feels healthy. I always appreciate when you push the like button, and smile to “see” you through that.

  6. Larissa says:

    I didn’t even know you could (sort of) turn it off! I like the like button. It’s like blowing you a kiss when I don’t have enough words or energy for a comment.

    I rarely use it on anyone else’s blog. Maybe I should? But it just doesn’t even occur to me…

    On my own blog, I barely notice when someone likes one of my posts. I’m not sure if that comes from healthy sovereignty on my part, or if my need for approval sometimes runs so deep underground that I can’t even sense it. It’s probably a little of both!

    • Kathy says:

      Oh Larissa, how sweet is that? Blowing a kiss. I am loving that idea.

      It’s kind of like those hearts on our other common venture. Part of me loved them and part didn’t. The two sides could have had an endless conversation…mmm, maybe they did.

      How interesting that you hardly even notice likes! Maybe your blog is such a safe space for you that there’s no need for approval? Just throwing that up as possibility cuz I have no clue. Blowing a kiss back ❤

  7. 🙂 The “Like” button is ideal for those folks who are shy. Unfortunately, not everyone is brave enough to leave a comment.

    In my case, I enjoy leaving valuable comments in the comments section of other people’s blogs.

    By the way, if you were to deactivate your “Like” button, the “Reblog” button will disappear.

    Do enjoy the rest of your day, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Renard, thank you. I hadn’t thought of that angle at all. That the like button can be words for a shy one. Awww, that really melts my heart. Btw, I did notice the reblog button disappeared, but that one is still gone…I think. Thank you for adding your very valuable comment. And you enjoy your day, too.

  8. Susan D. Durham says:

    Laughed out loud at Ms. Like’s personality here. I could almost see this non-human. You made her very human. So funny! Fantastic dialogue. Well, here on your blog, I normally comment first, and then push Ms. Like on my way out as my final kiss goodbye to you. On other venues, I “like” stuff when I’m in a hurry, and will often come back later to comment. Okay, and sometimes, I just “like” out of a sense of obligation because someone is “good” about liking my stuff. Sigh …

    Such a fun and intriguing topic. I love you AND I like you.

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, I just KNEW you’d enjoy this! It was fun creating (or channeling?) this little dialogue. It really is interesting the different ways we all utilize the like button. And, yes, sometimes it can be out of a sense of obligation. I do that, too, sometimes, and can sometimes imagine others are doing that here at times, too. Perhaps learning to be OK with all of it is key? Even the bots. At least three marketing bots liked this post today. Or maybe they are real people and they’re laughing maniacally. *evil grin*

  9. Amanda-Lyn says:

    This definitely grabbed my attention. I’d love for the “like” button to take a hike, at least for now. I am new at this so I want actual feedback in comments about whether the Holy Spirit is working or if I’m talking a lot of fluff ((oooo…fluff…sorry got distracted)). So no offense Ms Like but you got to step out for a bit ♥

  10. Debbie says:

    I get ya, Kathy. Most times, being a writer and all, it’s easier for me to add a comment; however, I realize that not everybody is a writer, and maybe they don’t have anything they consider ‘worthy’ of saying, and maybe they don’t have time right then so hitting the Like button at least lets me know they were there (and I tell myself they probably appreciated what I wrote, or so I hope!) It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? I have to keep reminding myself this isn’t Middle School, and it’s not a competition for who has the most likes!

    • Kathy says:

      Debbie, that is such a good thought. We writers are always commenting because–well just because we like to put things in words so much. It always makes me happy to see friends & regular readers hit the like button, just not so much the spammers and bots. And you are so right about Middle School. Sometimes i think we all have an inner part that is still in junior high and we have to keep reminding her what the big people know. 🙂

  11. I love this post, the conversation in your head aptly described. I can truly identify! I like the “like” button, for times when I don’t have time to comment, but want to let friends know that I stopped in to read.

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, I am glad you liked this post. I had a blast writing it. Was going to just write an ordinary blog, but for some reason the creative muse decided to take over the typing fingers. So nice to see you!

  12. For my own blogs, I take it with a pinch of salt. I recognise regular readers who may not comment but ‘like’ and new ones who seem genuine, but I do also recognise the ones who likely haven’t even read the post but are trying to boost their own readership. On others’ blogs I do use the like button. I don’t always have time to comment, or as you’ll have gathered, I often catch up on a week’s worth of posts in one sitting, sometimes I just don’t have anything useful to say (!) but I will press like to show that I’ve been there and read the post.

    • Kathy says:

      Andrea, I always enjoy watching you read the posts–so many of them in a row!–you are amazing. And grin seeing your likes come in. I figure you’ll say something when something presents itself to be said. Thanks for sharing your take on Ms. Like Button on your own site and elsewhere.

  13. Reggie says:

    This is so funny – I actually spotted the missing ‘Like’ button yesterday, and was most bewildered by its unexpected absence, Kathy! I love your dialogue with ‘Ms. Like’; she sounds like quite a feisty, playful character. Like your other readers, I don’t always have time or energy to leave a longer comment, so when I click ‘Like’, it’s my way of saying, “Nice blogpost, Kathy, I’ve enjoyed reading this. Thank you!”

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, there was about three of you who were disconcerted by the like button disappearing yesterday, lol! I am glad you liked this dialogue–it was fun writing it. It’s funny…this wasn’t so much about you regular readers who use the like button. You guys are great. It was everyone else. Love you sharing your thoughts or likes–as always!

  14. dawnkinster says:

    I like the ‘like’ button too, I figure if I like it and don’t have time for anything further, at least you know I’ve been there, and read the post and liked it! 🙂 I didn’t know you could get rid of it, maybe, obviously, you can’t! I often am sad where there are significant’y more likes than comments, because comments are the most fun, insightful, and though provoking. But likes help me realize people are stopping by, maybe it’s for the photos, maybe it’s the stories, but I’m glad they’re stopping even if they don’t have time or words to share more.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, after reading through everyone’s comments I am discovering that there is a part of me that likes the like button, too. In some ways. Now I will need another character if I write another story like this! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this.

  15. debyemm says:

    Honestly, this has been me –
    “hi–I’ve read–I liked your post–but I don’t have anything to say.” (slight modification)
    I understand your reasoning though.

    • Kathy says:

      For some reason I don’t remember (at this very moment) you just hitting the like button. Usually it seems you comment. But either way I have no gripes with friends & regular readers who do this because they have nothing to say. Usually just feel warmth that someone has bothered to like. Thanks for sharing–it was fun writing this today.

  16. Stacy says:

    I’m being truly honest when I say, I never pay attention to it. Once I got a notification from WP saying I exceeded my record of likes. Hmmm. I didn’t know that they kept records of that sort of thing. Once I turned off comments for a while to give myself a break from that statistic. But I turned them back on because I like the conversation. Ah, the blog world. What to do, what to do? Nice conversation with Ms. Like, Kathy. But I think she needs a cabin in the woods. XOXO

    P.S. I liked this post – but I don’t hit the like button, because if I like a post, I comment so that you know WHY I liked it.

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, I have never been able to see the like button on your posts!! I always thought you had figured out a way to disable it. (Just went to check again. Nope, can’t see your like button.) As for that cabin in the woods–I LOVE it. It’s just that Ms. Like has different ideas apparently. Sigh. So many energies can exist in just one human being!

  17. Tilly travel says:

    I hit the like button 🙂 I also find that the like button is use in hopes that you will return the visit, sometimes I do. There’s a brass bull like the one on your post in Birmingham here in the UK, he is called The Guardian , but more loving called Brummie

    • Kathy says:

      It is so interesting, Tilly, why we all choose to hit the like button (or why we don’t). I rarely follow likes back to another person’s blog. But I will follow comments back because comments feel so much more personal. How interesting about Brummie!

  18. Joanne says:

    I “like” this post, Kathy. 😉 It made me smile.
    The holy makes a very valid point, about spammers liking posts just for the heck of it. I get those “likes” on my blog too.
    Then there are friends who just want to let you know they’ve dropped by, but perhaps have nothing to say that day. I’m okay with those “likes”. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Joanne, I am glad you liked this humorous post. I am not sure it was the Holy who made that point about spammers. That was me. I can see how you could get confused though with all those different parts having tea together, lol!

  19. Sarah Davis says:

    As with Instagram, I really don’t pay attention to my likes. The comments are the good stuff.

  20. Lori says:

    I not only liked it but thought it was very creative. 💗😊👍

  21. Ally Bean says:

    At first I resisted the Like button, but gave in. Now I don’t give two hoots about it. I like comments, that’s where the real action is.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh you resisted, too, Ally Bean! I am glad I am not alone. I don’t give two hoots about it today either. This post was yesterday’s news. Ha ha ha! And thank you!

  22. Very interesting post, Kathy. Love the tea date! And I often wondered if people notice the likes because I actually do not and reading this post said it all.

  23. Robin says:

    I found this so amusing, Kathy. I rarely pay attention to my own Like button (who “Liked” or how many “Liked”). It was after I saw the title of this post in my email (which I didn’t get a chance to read until today) that I looked at who was liking my last post or two. I’m not sure why I ignore that feature. Partially for reasons you mentioned (how bots and those looking for return visits, etc., tend to use the “Like” button). Now that I think about it, it’s a bit like stats. I stopped paying attention to them a few years ago, not really caring about the numbers. It’s the conversations I enjoy the most (what happens in the comments). The comments/conversations are also what drive my guilt levels up when I can’t find the time to respond to them. I always feel bad when someone takes the time to comment and I don’t take the time to acknowledge it.

    I will ‘fess up that I use the “Like” button a lot when visiting other blogs. Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to add to the conversation, but I want to let the blogger/friend know that I’ve stopped by and read their post.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh you are so lucky that you don’t pay attention to stats, Robin. How I wish I could be like that! It doesn’t matter what kind of stats–coronavirus, blog, gas mileage–I am always fascinated by stats. When this feels kind of silly and stupid and meaningless. But something inside loves it. Go figure.

      And it is interesting what can make us feel guilty in relation to blogging. This whole blogging endeavor is just another theater for us to learn about ourselves spiritually and otherwise. Never-ending journey!

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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