I don’t know who or what I like anymore, since Facebook stole my dictionary. And now I’m wondering whether “like”-ing everything I read would actually devalue the currency of my good opinion. Like printing money, sort of. And vice-versa too, really. I mean, if you “like” my link or my post, I now ponder innumerable qualifying questions … How many “like” buttons has Nigel[endnote As it happens, I do have a Facebook friend of said forename. But, Nigel, if you chance to read this, rest assured you are not personally my intended reference point. It’s simply that you happen to share two syllables in common with my generic all-purpose hypothetical persona.] pressed today? Did he like them all as much? Or are some of his “like”s more equal than others?
So here’s my suggestion to Facebook’s cool bureaucratic dudes. They need to hire an actuary or two, to devise a formula to run on the server. The formula would generate a rating of the quality of each “like”. So, for instance, if Nigel’s “like”-ing history is such that he has already “like”d five links, four pictures and seven game high scores in the past twenty minutes, then my chest needn’t swell with too much pride when he “like”s my comment. That’s because his “like”, though not entirely insincere, has more of a mildly-better-than-a-mug-of-lukewarm-international-roast-instant-coffee kind of quality about it. If on the other hand, Nigel has only punched “like” on two other blog posts in the past two days, then I could rest secure in the thought that I sit well above at least an average flat white ristretto on his scale of life’s points of true meaning. That would be very helpful after a hard day.
This proposal is predicated on the assumption that the finite human spirit is capable of emotionally approving a restricted number of ideas daily. So, for instance, if you find my company rather flat this evening, you might consider the possibility that I’ve mentally dispensed my good opinion upon so many worthy thoughts today, that my affective capacity is at present reduced to a level equivalent to the physiological fortitude of a butter lettuce leaf on a 40° day.
I feel that if Facebook’s minions of power would smile kindly upon this my humble plea, the word “like” might remain a player of substance in modern English parlance for at least one more decade.