Me: “Your new profile picture looks good, I liked it”
Ms X: “You liked it? I don’t think you did?”
Me: “Yes I did, it was nice!”
Ms X: “Well why didn’t you like it then?”
Me: “I did”
Ms X: “No you didn’t”
That was the humble origin of a very confusing conversation, however I am pleased to report that the mysterious Ms X and I were eventually able to sit down and smoke the metaphorical peace pipe; as there was some confusion over our individual perspectives, perceptions and definitions of the term…
But before I move forward, let me take you a few steps back…
I saw the new filtered profile image of Ms X pop up on my Facebook newsfeed and thought it was beautiful but never acknowledged the feeling digitally by tapping on the thumbs up icon. I mistakenly thought my initial personal reaction was enough on it’s own; whereas Ms X thought my personal response should have been followed up by a digital acknowledgment.
Increasingly I have noticed that digital acknowledgment in terms of likes, dislikes, followers, shares, views, comments or subscribers are increasingly important to some people and if you make a living from the digital space…I get it…but if your income is not based on a digital audience, then you have to consider that not everyone necessarily listens to digital noise that is shared.
I don’t access my smartphone for the majority of my working day, therefore when I do eventually decide to check my phone, Facebook often greets me with a surge of notifications but rather than lovingly tend to the attentions of each and every one, I blindly scroll through my newsfeed and offer a random digital “like” depending on the content that catches the gaze of my short attention span…
When it comes to Facebook my digital “liking” isn’t really consistent, sometimes I offer a “fad like” because so many other people have liked something and I want to ride the crest of a popular wave, other times I offer a “socially acceptable like” especially when someone has posted a picture of their new-born child (how do you not like that?) but most controversially sometimes I like things because it is a quick and convenient way to keep a digital presence.
The problem is I don’t take digital recognition such as followers, subscribers, views or likes too seriously. I fully understand that it has it’s place and you can use this digital data as an indication that something is popular but my identity isn’t impacted by how many people follow me because digital followers have no direct correlation to my actual reality.
WordPress is a little different compared to other social media apps, but more often than not I’m still guilty of digital acknowledgement crime…
When I’m reading the thoughts and experiences of my favourite bloggers sometimes I am impacted by the subject matter in such a way I simply forget to issue a digital acknowledgment, as my mind begins to process the content it has just digested…in short…because I personally like the content of what I’ve read on many occasions I forget to digitally like it.
I don’t judge the success of something I have shared in terms of how many people have digitally liked it, the measure of success (if any) is hoping that anything I have posted or shared has been able to momentarily take the reader out of their world and into mine and if within that time it has been digitally liked that’s great…
But if my words have somehow penetrated a thought process, provided some low brow entertainment or raised a wry smile without the back up of digital acknowledgement, I’m equally as ease with that too. The one thing I have realised through the blogging experience is that a digital audience may not feature all people who are…err…shall we say…
Until next time.