What does a Facebook “like” really mean?

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – What does it mean to “like” something on Facebook? David Ryan Polgar from DavidRyanPolgar.com joined us to share insight.

Five Types of Facebook Likes:

1. Genuine Like:
When you authentically connect with a post or picture, you may genuinely want to express your gratitude or approval. Similar to giving a thumbs up to a person holding a street sign you agreed with, you are giving you social media like without any ulterior motive.

2. Sympathy Like:
Although Facebook is setup to be egalitarian, some people seem to get a whole lot more likes than others. Occasionally you may see a currently un-liked post hanging in your feed that seems awfully lonely and sad. Nobody likes to be ignored, and an un-liked post seems like the wallflower hanging out by the punch at a high school prom. You invite it to dance by liking it.

3. Reciprocity Like (social media backscratching):
Despite Facebook’s egalitarian vibe, there is a constant shuffling of the social order. Likes can be a backscratching tool where one clicks the thumbs up based on an unsaid backscratching understanding, instead of a genuine appreciation of the post.

4. Bandwagon Like:
Facebook and other forms of social media prominently list how many likes something. Despite are assumptions that we are not influenced by the actions of others, science has clearly proven otherwise. A heavily liked post or photo is more apt to be liked in the future based solely on the initial popularity. Its display of being liked colors how we see it. This is why some companies pay for fake likes-popularity often leads to more popularity through the bandwagon effect.

5. Kiss-Up Like:
We’re all equal on Facebook; some of us are just more equal than others. Facebook allows us to rub digital shoulders with people we may admire or are trying to impress. Sending a Kiss-Up Like allows us to position, however briefly, our name in their social media orbit.

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