Three weeks ago I read this article. It got me thinking about my own clicking tendencies. In general, I have been a 50% “like” clicker and 50% commenter. The article made me think of my job and a few potential situations…
1. I am running a social skills group with three pre-teen boys. We have been learning that where someone makes a comment, we can either comment back or ask a follow-up question. I start the conversation by saying, “I went to the beach this weekend!” After waiting a few moments for a response, two of the three boys give me a thumbs up. They have essentially clicked “LIKE” to my comment. This brings up a lot of questions for me:
- What did they like about my comment?
- Have they ever gone to the beach?
- What did they do this weekend?
- Why didn’t the third boy “LIKE” my comment?
Do you see where this is going? What kind of social skills are we teaching if the world now “comments” with a thumbs up?
2. I walk down the hall in school and say “Good morning! How are you?” to each staff member as he/she walks by. With no facial expression, some of them give me a thumbs up. This brings up even more questions:
- How are they really doing?
- Was their thumb just an automatic response?
- Why didn’t they greet me back?
- What about those people that didn’t even both with the thumbs up?
3. I write an well-researched blog post. It has taken me eight hours to write and I really want to hear feedback from readers. I am looking for more ideas on ways to improve this therapy technique. I post it and although my statistics site says that over 1000 people have seen the post, no one comments. A few people click “LIKE” on Facebook. That’s all the feedback I get. My questions now are:
- Did people get anything out of my blog post?
- What do people really think?
- Were those eight hours of writing even worth it?
I’ve decided that I need to practice what I preach and do unto-others…
Do I want students to respond to me and each other with a comment or a question? Then I need to comment or question others…even on social media!
Do I want colleagues to greet me and answer social questions? Then I need to greet and answer social questions…even on social media!
Do I want others to give me feedback and encouragement when I work hard on something? Then I need to give feedback and encouragement…even on social media!
Will I sometimes still click the “LIKE” button?
After three weeks of not clicking “LIKE” and commenting instead, I’m tired! Most of my Facebook is done on my phone and typing in comments on that tiny keyboard is HARD (not to mention the auto-corrects that come up!)!
I will go back to “LIKE” on some things that really don’t require a comment: cute pictures of my friends’ kids, links to products that look awesome but I haven’t yet tried, etc.
Will I continue to comment more? YES! I think I’m going to aim for a 90:10 ratio for comments to likes. Wish me luck (for real! don’t just “LIKE” this!) and let’s see if my own social communication and relationships improve through my efforts!