What makes you click “like” on facebook? What makes you want to post or repost a video or article or picture that you just saw on facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, YouTube, etc?
Now let’s assume it’s not your job to create viral videos, images, or stories. Let’s explore this thought as an experiencer of the internet, not a creator of it.
So what makes ME want to share, post, re-post, forward, link, etc. to all those I am connected to via the internet? Well, the majority of stuff I’ve been sharing as of late tends to revolve around ideas, thoughts, images, concepts, and videos that either inspire the weary spirit and/or reminds us of how fortunate we really are. I think I share this stuff because I am seeking it too. And by sharing it via the social networks, perhaps I feel less alone knowing that others will hopefully reply and, if inspired enough, will repost it to share that energy with their others. Outside of that, I share the dude and dad stuff – stuff that’s rated R, not cruel, but makes you laugh your ass off, vomit, and/or say WTF, OMG, No Way!
So what inspires you to share something you just saw, read, or experienced online with your social network the second you come across it?
JUSTIN: I’m extremely social network inept so I don’t know how much I can contribute to this conversation. However, I do find the whole sharing concept similar to when DVD’s were introduced to the home consumer. Because each ‘like’ or ‘share’ is perceived as a personal recommendation, the sum of it all ends up defining the user.
QUENTIN: I like a lot of things and I like to share a lot. My friends say I’m guilty of oversharing because I find so many things fascinating. And sometimes I like and share just to let people know I’m still alive. Yes, I do share too much. I think there’s an Ariana Huffington in all of us.
PHILIP: Generally, I’m going to go for something funny that I think my peeps will also think is funny.
IRIS: I used to like those cute or comedic animal videos like Nora the Cat playing piano. But like Justin, I’m pretty inept with the social network stuff. Even back when chain emails with jokes/lists/inspirational messages used to go around, they would usually end with me.
EMMIE: If the thing is awesome, funny or beautiful, it’s tempting to share. Sometimes I’ll post a link if it seems that it’ll appeal to most people. That said, I think the last time I posted anything on Facebook was 1993. I try not to do anything that will end with me being required to respond to anything. I love being social but don’t have time for online stuff, even though it’s usually fun.
SUNG: Something extremely heartfelt with a simple life lesson or really funny gets a repost reaction from me.
ALFREDO: Basically I try to share as little as possible. It’s like the boy who cried wolf: if I barrage my friends with junk, I figure they’ll stop reading the stuff I send them. So I try to be choosy.
My aunt forwarded me some choice vintage 1970’s quotes from The Hollywood Squares game show. Just two quick samples: Host: Paul, what is a good reason for pounding meat? Paul Lynde: Loneliness! Host: You’ve been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman? Don Knotts: That’s what’s been keeping me awake. Sorry, just one more: Host: It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it? Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn’t neglected.
THAT I did forward.
DHH: It’s probably a function of age, but I am extremely careful about anything I post online. I kinda assume that, so-called “privacy settings” notwithstanding, anything I put on FB or any other social network, will be available for all time for anyone to see. As a result, I very rarely post anything personal, and certainly nothing with my family, since I think it’s the least I can do as a parent not to compromise my kids’ privacy; they’ll have plenty of time to do that themselves. I mostly use social networks for work, posting about shows I have on in various cities, or other professional news (most recently, the LA TIMES piece about the YOMYOMF YouTube Channel). I skipped over that period when everyone had his or her own professional website, but now, FB and Twitter serve those functions for me. (Two social networks are all I can handle, I can’t start thinking about LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., etc.). The difference for me, is that my FB Friends are generally people I’ve actually met, whereas my Twitter Followers are a larger group.
ANDERSON: I’ve definitely limited sharing posts. It’s something I feel is just not so genuine anymore. I tend to just share stuff that I really believe in, or stuff that I think is super funny. That’s about it. I might share a KevJumba video from time to time, and then I’ll share a Youtube video of Paul Williams performing on The Muppet Show, or I’ll share a NYT op-ed piece on Vincent Chin during the anniversary of his murder, which was this weekend.
And I admit, I’m becoming a bit more impersonal on FB and Twitter, because it has become my public persona. It has intertwined with my work and career and there is no real public or private space anymore. When prospective head hunters are looking at candidates FB pages or when employers are tracking their employees every move with Google mobile maps, you just have to be more cautious. The only way to stop this is to cut yourself off from social media. And I admit, I am not ready to do that yet, and it’s all because of that “LIKE” button.
I once laughed at my friend who gave up FB for Lent. Now I understand.
DAVID: I never gave much thought on my reflex action to “Like” or “Post” a video or picture in find on the web. I think it’s natural to share meaningful and meaningless ideas or stuff of interest to whomever.
I do think as I get older and become more public, there is going to be a sense to censor my ideas, opinions and stupid things I find interesting or not. Until then… I don’t really care.
So, in the great words of Emil Antonowsky from “Robocop”… “I LIKE IT!”
ANSON: It’s usually something I’ve just never seen before. Like, WHAT THE FUK DID I JUST WATCH! The other day I was watching a guy cleaning his friend’s ear spraying hot water. And what came out was like a fur ball. I apologize to all my friends.