We love to “Like” things on Facebook. That one movie you went to see with your best friend this past week. You might Like it on Facebook. A particular celebrity you’ve been a fan of for years but just recently discovered their own page? You’d click the Like button. Following a satisfying trip to a particular restaurant, you might Like its page in order to show your support.
What Happens When Facebook Liking Goes Too Far?
As you can see, making use of the Like button has allowed us to declare that we are fans of particular entities, regardless of whether your friends are fans of them or not. It has also allowed companies to become elevated on social media, which is a point that any online marketing firm can agree with. The question must be asked, though: what happens when too much “Liking” is done on Facebook? I was curious about what would happen if one was to go above and beyond but a gentlemen by the name of Mat Honan answered this query.
According to an article on WIRED, one of the website’s writers named Mat Honan took it upon himself to go on something of a Facebook Like button spree. Specifically, for 48 hours, Honan made it a point to Like everything that was sent his way; it didn’t matter if it was relevant to his personal endeavors or not. This wasn’t done in order to push companies forward on Facebook or bring awareness to them. He stated that this was an “open-ended experiment” with a strong level of interest brought into it.
What happens when Facebook pages are Liked? They will start to show up on news feeds, to varying levels of prominence. Keep in mind that pages are made prevalent on Facebook feeds based on the amount of recent engagement seen. What happened, following this Like spree of sorts, was that Honan’s Facebook friends were nowhere to be seen. No witty comments or bad jokes to be had. Instead, he was bombarded with brands and their messages as opposed to the posts made by humans. Honan’s Facebook feed became less of a forum for conversation and more like a platform designed for companies like Huffington Post, the Verge and Upworthy.
By the end of Honan’s experiment, his Facebook presence became one he didn’t necessarily enjoy, which is understandable. This isn’t to say that companies and brands shouldn’t be given the Like button, since it’s one of the best tools for user engagement. When the Like button is used too much, though, it’s clear that social media starts to lose the personal aspect; the reason why we join these networking platforms to begin with.
Take a look at the pages you’ve liked on Facebook. Keep the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum if you pride yourself on being a sports enthusiast or historian. Make sure that Chips Ahoy sticks around if you have an undeniable sweet tooth. However, eating at a particular restaurant once, without the intention of going back, and Liking its Facebook page might not be the best move. The best way I can describe one’s collection of Liked pages on Facebook is “exclusive,” which means that it’s okay to be choosy.
Do you feel as though you’re a bit too Like-happy on Facebook? What do you think about Honan’s Facebook liking experiment? Please leave your thoughts below!
See also: Facebook Messenger: A Change in Mobile Social Media