There were nights, I used to sit past bedtime, scroll through the Facebook page of mine, clicking like button of those ads, memes, photographs, messages and status updates without any intention to like them in the first place.
Scroll Scroll Like Like Scroll Like Like...this is how some of the nights went. Eyes sored. Later I wondered, at many occasions, what is with those like buttons exactly? It was not a brainstorming question, but it really did boggle my mind. I couldn't resist myself from clicking those like buttons, I realized. The curiosity to know about 'Why' behind it was chasing me like a ghost.
I encountered with my own self to find that the answer to my 'why' hit me at many different levels. Firstly,
I see memes, posts, status updates and other feeds, I agree, acknowledge, and like to know that there is someone else who feels the same way I feel or think. That gives me a virtual comfort to empathize virtually to know about the mutual feeling the people on my facebook list have.
Not only do I empathize with the ideas and messages my people share, but also I acknowledge with them. I welcome the idea being published on the internet. I liked the way it was on my wall. I feel special about seeing it in my feeds. It connects me with the person I know at a different level.
Empathy, acknowledgement and support may sound the same, but I was different at all the levels. I empathize with some messages; I acknowledge some messages, but at some places I register my support to some messages. There are campaigns, surveys, opinion polls and other such things going around the social media; my 'Like' registers my support to some of the social ideas and campaigns that have tags of social causes.
And it's me
Above all the connections I make with my Likes, I realize what kind of person am I. It's a reflection of my likings, thinking, and way of living. Also, it's about my courage to accept, agree, acknowledge about who I am in the public. It's self-realization in a way. I am happy about displaying my ideas and my likes. I show my closeness with a person, my affection towards someone special, I tell the world how crazy am I about a brand, and I say it louder about almost everything, important and unimportant, that I cross in my life.
What's Facebook doing with Me?
Is Facebook a Yogic teacher to help us know about ourselves? Ha ha. What a rule of thumb Facebook follows! It just taps on the brain's reward centre. It finally has caught me introspecting. But Facebook's algorithm based on what I like. I am branded and categorized. With my just-a-like Facebook identifies who I am with almost 80 to 90 percent accuracy. Am I What I Like? It's insane!
Personals apart, I like to brag about the brand I use, the shops I visit, the food I prefer, and the sports I watch and many more. This not only conveys the message about me to my friends and social circle, but also to the Facebook about the commodities and brands I use or like. Based on the data I fed, I get my feeds on my wall. I go to Facebook essentially to connect with my social circle, not to shop. Facebook knows that precisely, but they know how to cultivate a shopping behaviour while I socialize. My favourite brand introduced a new set of products this season, and it's on my personal page, showing me that I am very important to them, my buy counts and my feedback about my buy matters a lot. How can I miss the incredible opportunity to show that I really care about the new arrivals? I think I can't live without those beautiful cardigans on display. What do I do now? Click. Buy. Enjoy the benefit of signing into the website from Facebook, and let Facebook reap the benefit of my purchase. Mutual, huh?
Facebook Knows my Friends
My brand recognizes the fact that Facebook knows my friends. So, it's pretty easy for them to work on finding a tool that scans my friends and social circle's interests and important dates and give me a personalized information about how cool it would be to gift my dear friend exactly the thing she is looking for, as a gift. Wowtastic! This is pretty cool. Things sound simple. This exact reaction and response of me is the signal I pass to F-commerce to make use of my shopping needs and urgency. I signal, they respond, as simple as that.
I love Shopping with My Friends.
Facebook is the place I hang out with my friends and family, almost all the time, no doubt. It's kind of family affair as well. I am very busy, you know, my family knows and my friends know. I always like to be on my bed during the weekend, and I am lazy to go to shopping malls with my buddies. I am crazy about being connected with them digitally, though. Why not do my online shopping with my friends. I signal Facebook about my digital presence during the weekend, and FB responds to my social need of doing online shopping with my friends. So what are we going to expect from Facebook soon? Want buttons on my page. If I click 'want' button on the product, aww, it's gonna be displayed on my friends' pages about it. Sooner or later, one of my friends gonna gift me the product I wanted. How cool is that? I can't wait to see the pinnacle of my shopping hopes.
Like Button Starts Everything.
So everything else of networking and social shopping begins with a single 'Like' I click. The various pages I liked reflect the ads I receive on my Feeds. The Marketers use my space to lure me to their storefront. The 'Like' I clicked maybe out of a whim, or it's just a fickle, but it's up to the e-commerce website to retain me in there. If they are too pushy about a buy, I would navigate back to my FB page. If I am happy about being on the storefront, I will navigate back to FB to have a say about how much I liked the online store. My friends like my post. They like the online store I mentioned about. And the process continues. The world wide web spreads words about the online brand and the store who I just clicked a 'Like' with.