Posting on Facebook is like walking into a room with everyone you know and shouting: Look at my pickles! Watch as my kid grows progressively taller! This dog is so cute! I just got a job as a mountain climber in Kansas! What is your favorite band? Look at my face – really close! Now I am somewhere far, far away waving at you from this beach!
Many of the people in the room won’t hear you. Some will, but they will ignore you. A handful of people will yell back – LIKE, (which is weird). And a few people will actually respond. Many times when those people take the time to respond they are ignored. Imagine someone walking up to and saying: Look at this sandwich I made! You say, Wow that looks like a fantastic sandwich. And they simply walk away. What? You just told me to look at your sandwich and then you ignored me when I responded?
Posting on someone’s wall is like putting in that personal effort. It’s like walking up to someone and saying, I can’t believe you love Simply Trampolines! That’s my favorite band. Most of the time they say something back. Sometimes they don’t. That’s equivalent to the blank silent stare. There it is hanging on their wall indefinitely, your effort at friendly communication, left to the crickets.
It’s hard not to listen to that inner Value-O-Meter plummeting into the screaming red zone. Most people’s online etiquette does not come with the excruciating visualization of standing in a room with everyone they know either shouting at you or ignoring you. I admit that this is not the healthiest way to imagine it. It’s probably better to think of it like throwing a penny into a fountain. You make your wish and let it go. If your wish doesn’t come true it was just a penny right?
Sometimes I try not to respond and a ridiculous internal battle ensues.
Look, she’s petting a monkey. That’s so cool. I have to tell her that it’s cool. Why should I tell her? She knows it’s cool to pet a monkey. Everyone else will tell her. Why make yourself vulnerable to rejection? Keep it to yourself. But that’s so mean. She went out and pet that monkey. You will regret this later.
I can’t help it. It’s like responsive Tourettes. I have to do it. So I do.
Wow that is a really great monkey that you are petting! LIKE!