My guest today is Denise DiNoto, who blogs at DeeScribes. Denise brings joy to my world. She has a salty sense of humour, and has often challenged me in my thinking. She is articulate, passionate, and one of the most encouraging women I know. I’m proud to call her my friend.
Today, we’re trading spaces. Each of us is sharing on the same topic but posting on the other’s blog. Denise issued a two-week challenge, and we agreed to confess the results. Here’s how it went down for her. Check her blog to see how I did (hint: I didn’t make it through the first day!). Take it away, Denise!
In August 2014, my best friend Steph and her family came to visit for a weekend. As we sat in my living room planning our fun, I scrolled through my Facebook feed on my phone. I saw an article which sparked my interest: I Quit Liking Things on Facebook for Two Weeks. Here’s How It Changed My View of Humanity.
Facebook changing your view of humanity? I was curious – particularly since my view of humanity was not enriched or encouraged by what regularly appeared in my Facebook feed.
I clicked to the article, and read it aloud so Steph could hear it too. The author, Elan Morgan, stopped using the “Like” button to see how her Facebook experience would change. As I read through her post, I began to wonder if I could quit the Like. Steph and I discussed the experiment and decided we would try it together. We both admitted we would probably need support initially, so starting while we were together would improve our chances of success.
For the next two days, we encouraged each other as we avoided hitting Like on any post. Many times instead of hitting Like we verbally said, “Oh, I like that!” We tagged each other in photos, and returned comments to friends who posted on our pictures. Sunday afternoon, as we said our goodbyes, we promised to continue the “no Like” experiment.
I was able to avoid hitting Like on any post, photo or article for the entire two weeks. I admit, I never noticed a substantive change in my feed. Instead, what I noticed was a change in my social media interactions.
For the first time, my use of Facebook actually became social. I had conversations with my friends and contacts instead of just clicking unconsciously and scrolling on. Each time I read something, instead of hitting a button and moving on, I was forced to consider whether I truly had anything to say.
Ignoring the Like made me much more intentional in my use of Facebook. But, I was lazy. One morning while checking Facebook over coffee I “liked” something. The blue thumb lit up and I scrolled on without realizing what I had done. By the end of the day, I was back to my old ways.
The article about giving up the Like surfaced again in my friend Tonia’s Facebook feed in early June. I commented about my prior attempt to quit the Like, admitting I should probably try it again because (like many things) “it will make for an interesting blog post!”
My friend Crystal and I both pledged to quit the Like. This time, I have been much more diligent and determined. I have not “liked” anything on Facebook since the beginning of June. This time, it was not as difficult breaking the Like habit. I have not been as successful on Twitter, but I tend to use the Like feature for different reasons on that platform – usually to remind me of an article I want to come back and read later. I refuse to share anything I have not read for myself.
Has my Facebook feed changed dramatically since June? No – I still see far too many photos of abused animals even though I NEVER click on those links. However, thanks to Bloom County returning, my feed now contains Opus the Penguin and Bill the Cat on a regular basis. Thank you Berkeley Breathed!
Denise is a speech-language pathologist and disability advocate who just last year allowed herself to embrace her desire to also be a writer. A former Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Denise loves to travel and enjoys helping other people with disabilities make their dreams of travel become reality. Her hobbies include baking and crochet. Denise shares her writing on her blog, DeeScribes.