I wrote this nearly 4 years ago. Ever since that time, I’ve come to understand that the ‘like’ button is such a passive, effortless form of interaction. That’s not necessarily a good thing.

It’s a busy world we live in. We have jobs to rush to, soccer matches that kids must reach on time, bills that need paying and hey, blog posts that need writing.

But written blog posts are useless unless they are actually read. Am I right? As you can tell, I’m one of those who is constantly trying to curate the reading and blogging experience to my advantage. I stumble across some fabulous blogs in the course of my blog hops and am compelled to comment and share them right away.

What does paucity of time make me do though? It makes me hit the ‘like’ button on WordPress. As convenient as that is, it is a tad lazy, you must admit. I had actually discussed this in detail on my other post on comments vs reciprocation. (I’m mortified to admit that I haven’t replied to many of the comments on that post!)

So,here’s the deal. I am planning to do away with the mere ‘Like’ , both here on WordPressΒ and on Facebook, at least for a week or two and see how I fare, blog-wise and social-media wise. I intend to connect with the writer or the content and leave a comment or share.

Yes, perhaps I will visit fewer blogs, but I am hoping it will be a better investment of my time and a more honest one too.

The ‘Like’ is such a lazy response. It requires no thought, no commitment. Just a reflex action that involves a touch of a finger.

Are relationships that simple? Or are we truly making the effort to care?

I’ve resumed this activity now in March, 2019. ‘Liking’ a post on Instagram, Facebook or WordPress requires no effort on my part. So I’m doing away with it. In fact, on my other blog, www.shailajav.com ,Β  I have disabled Jetpack which comes with the default ‘Like’ button built in.

For how long? I cannot say.

Until my brain or my finger succumbs to the involuntary twitch, I suppose. Or maybe if I do this mindfully and consistently, I will never passively ‘like’ a post ever again. Well, one can dream.


Do you think this is worth doing?

Can you quit the ‘like’ and engage as well?

P.S. Dear God! What have I done? πŸ˜‰

65 thoughts on “Quitting the ‘like’ button

  1. I usually leave a comment on blog posts I like. Most often I forget to ‘like’ the post and only recently I realized that. So now I am compulsively liking the post if there is a like button. I find it handy when I don’t have anything else to say other than good job. But I don’t like the post just to let the person know that I have been there.
    In FB, I click the like button if the post makes me smile and I don’t leave a comment if I don’t have anything else to add. Basically, I hit like only if I like and I leave comments if I have anything to say. πŸ™‚

  2. Now I feel guilty of having done that, but also relieved to know that I have company! But, it sure is something to think about. Esp. LIKING stuff on FB. I know I need to change myself…and stop myself from making people happy by hitting the LIKE button. Hmm, yes, I am definitely going to bring that change. Also will begin leaving comments on blogs I visit (but get lazy to comment on, at times!).
    Oh! That was quite a confession! πŸ™‚

  3. Interesting thought! On blogs and FB, I hit like only if I have commented. Have never just liked a post! But have seen quite a few people, who do just that! Liking pictures and updates on Facebook is ok, I feel though πŸ™‚

  4. The phenomena that I particularly enjoy the most of WordPress is when my post has more likes than views. I think to myself, did they just have pity on me and hit the like button and never actually read what I wrote? But I agree, the like button tends to be a lazy way of things (Tends to be, not always the case however).

    1. More likes than views, I get, But wouldn’t more meaningful comments be more welcome? (Gosh, too many ‘mores’ in that last bit!) Yes I do sometimes wonder why someone hits the ‘Like’ button. Sigh, this should be easy, you know? This thing called blogging!

  5. Hitting a like button is lazy for sure, but sometimes when time is really less, a simple like button can let the other person know that they have been read the and have liked as well.. Of course, it is nowhere close to commenting.
    I did read your commenting and reciprocating post. But due to some network error, I couldn’t comment then. I hope you don’t mind me commenting about it here.. One thing which maintains the authenticity of any blogger is the way how one comments. Me for one, only comments if I like the article. Most of the times,I love what my favorite bloggers write, but sometimes, I may not like their take and hence I don’t comment. Also, there is in innate need to let the writer know what we feel after reading a marvelous write. Right?
    Well sometimes,commenting is helping and motivating the writer to write more.. encouraging them to not quit and continue write..

    I think it should work that way..

    Not to mention this post is really wonderful..
    Thanks for sharing..


    1. Thanks Geetika and I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on my post πŸ™‚ Yes, blogging is a two-way street: Writing and commenting. Anyone who says otherwise is not facing reality. We need comments, we thrive on it for us to keep coming back and writing what we write. So, yes, although the ‘like’ can be useful, it should not be used as a sole crutch, don’t you agree? We don’t talk as much as we should anyway these days, unless we are arguing on social media πŸ˜‰ This way, at least we can have cultured, healthy debate. One can hope.

  6. An interesting thought… however, I have a different view though…and one i adopted recently after reading Adrienne Smith. I read a lot of blogs and generally comment only when I have something to add. It could be my own view about what is being discussed or even a meaningful appreciation. However, I will generally refrain from a two word comment like, well done… I used to do that a lot earlier and sometimes still slip into this old habit. Why I stopped? Because as a blog writer, I appreciate meaningful and engaging conversations. When someone sends me a comment like good job, I am a tad bit disappointed. I now use like to indicate I have read it and liked it. I know this will affect backlinks but I am willing to sacrifice SEO on the altar of meaningful interactions. What do you think about this?

    1. How is your view different? πŸ™‚ It is in fact precisely what I have mentioned in my other post and to a certain extent here as well. This is exactly why I want to stay away from the Like button. I would much rather leave an informed comment than a breezy ‘Well done’, which in no way tells the author conclusively if the piece was actually good or not. I don’t even think of backlinks and SEO when I visit blogs, to be honest. Most of the blogs I read purely because I find value in them. Occasionally I reciprocate visits if I don’t know the blogger but I am touched by the way they have left comments πŸ™‚

      1. Oh well the difference only was that I use like to acknowledge having read something but not having anything to say… in personal blogging, the normal SEO rules don’t apply so backlinks dont really matter!

  7. i enjoy the like button on fb, but never use it on blogs.. as many commenters have already pointed out, they have different functions and uses, so it all depends on you.. good luck on your challenge though!

  8. I only comment on blogs, though I am guilty of hitting like on Facebook. I rarely leave comments over there because it isn’t a place I love engaging. Though I do love engaging on blogs. I guess I see a blog as the person’s house and Facebook as an open, public space.

  9. I think your plan is commendable. I can’t even get “likes” for all the “likes” and comments I leave on others’ blogs. My stuff must really stink. Ha! I am so not in the loop with the blogging experience. Good thing I love the sound of crickets. Best wishes with your plan.

  10. I don’t have the *like* button on my blog, mostly because I never thought to enable it. I only “like” replies to comments I’ve made on blogs (and only if there’s nothing else to say, but I want to acknowledge that I saw the reply). I think quality versus quantity works better in this situation. Good luck with your challenge!

  11. Hmm, I almost never use the “like” button on blogs, but do so on facebook quite a bit. I like your challenge to consider leaving comments instead. On facebook, it’s usually a way for me of acknowledging that I’ve seen a post and read it…but perhaps it would be good to be more intentional about leaving a comment.

  12. I haven’t been able to reply to the comments on my blog, but I do read and comment on most blogs I come across. Frankly I haven’t used like button much. It’s mostly the tweet button I use. I love how you have different ideas and do experimentations on blogging πŸ™‚

  13. I don’t normally hit the like button for blog posts without reading them, no point there. However on FB sometimes I ‘like’ a post to denote that I’ve seen it or simply that I ‘like’ the response or the picture. Different things, both.

    1. The article I have linked to, which explains the principle behind not liking stuff on FB, is actually a great statistical study on the kind of news you see in your News Feed. It’s only been a day and consciously staying away from the like button has done wonders for my News Feed.

  14. I don’t hit like and not leave a comment. Most of the times, if I hit like, it’s cos I going to comment like I did on this post. But I get your point. I get likes from people who never comment so I wonder why is that? Let us know how the experience goes.
    On FB, the story is different – Sometimes, I don’t leave a comment and hit like cos I liked the picture/update and leaving a comment may activate notifications that I need to turn off, or I may be at work and I want to avoid getting that attention.

    1. The like on FB is far different. Most times, it is an acknowledgement that it has been seen by you but perhaps you didn’t get the time to leave a comment. On blogs, people start wondering why there is no comment. I think it has something also to do with the power and nature of blogger interactions.

  15. I do hate the like button .. I always leave a comment if I read an article.. because ti me if you have spent time reading then surely you can write a word or two..

  16. I like the ‘like’ button. i came across it first on sulekha.com, but with a different name, and wished WordPress would have it too. I got my wish. There are many blogs I read and have nothing to add to, but still want the blogger to know I like and appreciate it. In case they don’t have a like button, I simply read and move on. We are all different people and some of us write ‘good one’ or simply press the ‘like’ button, while others use lots of words to express. Why is it that only the latter are appreciated? I have always wondered about that. Why do wordy comments mean more to bloggers than a heartfelt ‘good one’ or a simple ‘like’? πŸ™‚

    1. Hello sorry for replying like this.. (not my blog).. I do appreciate those who press the like button BUT majority of those who press the like button I feel don’t read what is written . They just come for the sake of it so the owner of the blog visits their blog.

      One can’t distinguish between those who genuinely press the like button after reading a article or for for the sake…

    2. It’s not so much the wordy comments as the empty ones, which are obviously written because the reader did not have the time or energy to actually read/ understand the post. It is more rampant during blog hops and linkups, I notice. For my part, if I don’t understand the post or cannot relate to it, I leave. I don’t even hit ‘Like’ to indicate that I have been there. If the ‘good one’ is heartfelt, then more power to the reader. But, in my experience, it is an indication that the person did not have the enthusiasm to actually get what the writer was saying πŸ™‚

      As for the ‘like’ I am not dead against it. I am just saying that if the writing is powerful enough to move you, then one must move beyond just the like and perhaps comment and even share further. Makes sense?

      1. Not really, not to me πŸ™‚ In ‘real’ life introverts and extroverts behave differently. It is the same on blogs too. If you take my case, on some posts I have much to say, not because they are ‘good’ (they may be too) but because I have something to say (which is actually the trait of an introvert) and want to say it, At other times, I may find the post admirable, but am dumbstruck and have nothing to say. Since I am not unique, I believe there must be lot of people out there like me and I accept that their way of responding to posts will be different too. That’s how I see it. πŸ™‚
        Thanks for your reply. And apologies for returning to reply.

        1. Apologies for returning to reply? πŸ˜€ Shail, you sweetheart! How many people ACTUALLY do that? And you apologise. Uff! never mind, I shall ‘forgive’ you since we share names πŸ˜€

          And I like your logic on the introvert/ extrovert concept. It mirrors my behaviour on social media. On Facebook, I am this gregarious person, maybe writing witty updates (so I’ve been told :P), but in person, people are shocked to see that I keep to myself and don’t talk much. If there is one thing I love about blogging, it is healthy debate, such as this one, where we aren’t trying to club one another over the head in a desperate attempt to be right. That is satisfying at so many levels, isn’t it?

          1. Since I am forgiven, let me add we seem to be similar in behavior on social media vs real. πŸ™‚ And yup, healthy debate is always satisfying.

  17. Sure, it’s always better to read a comment from a reader. But you know, sometimes, I like a post, but will have nothing to add to it in the comments. Nothing intelligent, anyway. And I hate leaving something utterly banal as “Nice post.” In such cases, I do hit the Like button, to show my appreciation.
    I’ve now realized I can still say something – for instance, I read this post earlier and I didn’t have anything to say and because of how ironic it would seem, I didn’t hit the Like button either. But I decided to come back and write this lengthy comment πŸ˜› So yeah!

    1. He he he, you are cute, you know that? πŸ˜‰ Yes, I dislike saying ‘Nice post’. I mean, what does that mean? Is it a politically correct way of saying ‘ yeah I came here, so come and see my blog’? As for hitting the Like button, do so by all means. I mean, my perception should not affect your actions πŸ˜‰

  18. Hmmm I actually leave comments on most of the posts I read. I mean I can’t remember a single time where I liked a post and did not leave a comment. So, I am in the clear there. πŸ™‚ About Facebook, again I like a post after having read it. I mean, how can I ‘like’ a blog post without reading it? Sure, status updates or pics, I like and may not comment but that is because sometimes there is nothing to say. πŸ™‚

    1. As mentioned to Sid, you are not the person to be reading this post at all πŸ˜‰ You have a very dedicated blogging ethic which I have admired forever. As for Facebook, I find it a bit odd that people will like a blog post without reading it. And yet, it happens! Not by you, but many others. The ‘friends’ principle working there, I suppose πŸ˜‰ Status updates and pictures are exempt from this πŸ˜€

    1. It’s a sticky wicket, social media. I am actually in this extreme love-hate relationship with Facebook.I have some of the best friends there but I also despise the random rants and warbles of people on my timeline. It also seems to turn people into weird versions of themselves which is saddening. Twitter is easier to manage that way.

  19. Like I said in earlier comment on post….. Like button most of the times is for reciprocation in blogging world…. But I more like people who visit and comment…. I visit those who just hit like button on my blog and try to comment too…. But only few reciprocate with a comment

  20. Hmm.. i always comment when I like a post. But, sometimes, lack of time, just makes me Like it instead. But it still means, I touched you.

  21. Oops! I liked it first…I agree we have become compulsive likers…..
    Even I will try and curb it…luckily blogger does not have a like button. πŸ˜‰
    So hope to curb it on FB. It will clear up my feed too.

    1. Yes I actually like that about blogger. Unfortunately, the commenting system is not the best- either with the default option or G+, so it becomes even more challenging to leave comments there πŸ™ As for FB, yes, it definitely cleans up your feed!

  22. I don’t think this is a difficult task to do. Having meaningful conversation is what most of us aspire for and commenting to express your thoughts on a blog sends a message that I was thoroughly involved with your post. There are visitors who may just like certain posts and comment on others. This is also fine with me for their (just) liking tells me that they might not have connected well with the content but they appreciate my writing.

    1. The aim to increase meaningful interaction and move away from mere reading is what I am going for. If you do have the time, yes, by all means, leave a comment. Many visitors I have are the ones who leave comments, by the way. Largely gratifying to be very honest. I do have the ones who just ‘like’ though and I find that they comment on other blogs. Makes me wonder if my content needs improvement.

  23. I’m think I get the point of the challenge. You leave a comment most of the times. At least on my posts and stuff. And I know I do it too on others. It’s extremely rare that i merely hit the like and not leave a comment on someone’s blog post. As for on FB, I’m not a compulsive liker as such. So most of the times I do leave a comment (that I think is either meaningful, engaging or sometimes just teasing) depending on the kind of post πŸ™‚
    But yes, there are plenty of readers who just like and move on. In an ideal world, I’d have loved them to engage as well…but I guess it’s a bit too much to ask sometimes. I’ll be continuing to leave comments l, regardless

    1. You and I both know that this post is meant for the larger blogging populace πŸ˜‰ Yes, I have left mere likes when I did not really know what the post was about. That happens with abstract poetry. I think in such cases, it is kinder to not say or do anything. I mean, apart from boosting the like counter on WordPress, it doesn’t do much else, does it?

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