What Does A Like Mean?

In these times where the the World Wide Web—particularly the social media—is the main medium, Facebook's news feed is our most accessible newspaper. The News Feed has become one of our windows to what's happening or has happened within our circles (family and relatives, friends, communities) and around the world.

Image credit: personneltoday.com

With our scrolling (which often becomes too tedious), we see a plethora of posts, either they may be statuses, photos, or links. And along with these posts, Facebook introduced us to three functions we could use to respond to posts and to reactions to those posts, as well as to see whether our posts are well-received or not. These are the like, the comment, and the share. Among these three, the like is what Facebook is mostly known for; it even has taken its place on contemporary language and culture.
But what does a like mean these days? As I have observed in my daily practice of logging on to Facebook,  that blue "thumbs-up" hand means more than a like.

In the first place, a like is an appreciation of a post. We click that thumbs-up because we're delighted, amused, or entertained about it. Now, a like may also mean we understand the situation happening in an area. A like may heighten the interest in posts about stories "of national interest". A like may also mean an affirmation of our awareness of a cause raised through a post.

A like may mean that we're with the one who posted about a certain plight of him or groups affiliated with him. And for anyone who shares something out of his/her heart in a lengthy post, a like may bring comfort. At least, depending on the depth of our relationship with that sharer, we know what's going through with him/her. And so we're with him/her.

Aside from those, especially in these times when anyone can be reached out a fingertip away, a like may mean that some announcement addressed to us is "Noted." It's a sign that we really received the message, not that we've just "seen" it.

A like may also mean that a post has served as a reminder for the one who liked it. I usually do that, just in case I need to go back to that notable quote or Bible verse; because I thought of doing so for the purpose of returning to it, like notes in a class. However, I have rarely return to them.

The blue thumbs-up icon named like has meant much in this age of advanced and advancing ways of communication. The symbol has much meaning, but this meaning actually depends on how the viewer uses or receives it.

But the like isn't only the Facebook function that is dynamic. Shares and comments mean a lot too, and I think they mean better than likes do. An online news satire series notes it very suitably: "Higit sa like, share!" (More than liking it, share it!)

(But pardon me, I haven't shared an episode of that show yet!)

So, what do you think? Do you have other definitions of 'like'? Have your say and give a comment!

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