The Language of Social Media: What a Facebook “Like” and “Comment” Really Mean

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The Language of Social Media: What a Facebook “Like” and “Comment” Really Mean

By |2018-09-13T17:30:13+00:00September 17th, 2018|Family, Technology, Travel & Entertainment|

Having a social media account and utilizing a social media account are two very different things.

Let me define the parameters here.

Having a social media account means occasionally or frequently logging in, scrolling through your feed of people and news, and keeping up to date with your “friends” via their posts. You’re aware of what’s going on in other people’s lives, but without any direct, person-to-person communication, and others are likely unaware of what of theirs you see and/or care about.

It’s similar to a one-way relationship. And if I know anything about relationships, I know the best and most rewarding ones are a mutual, two-way street.

Hence, utilizing a social media account means directly communicating with other people by participating in what they post and share online.

What’s the Benefit?

Engaging in online communication can enhance relationships as a whole. A couple easy steps to begin enriching these relationships is by “liking” and “commenting” on others’ posts. Both are easy tasks with a favorable payoff.

I’d like to focus on the social media site of Facebook, since it seems to draw on the widest range of ages, likely because it is one of the most thorough and easily navigable social media sites. However, these concepts can be applied to most forms of social media, as each has its own version of a “like” or “comment.”

Understandably, some people may prefer to keep their online presence minimal. Others who go the extra mile certainly have a lot to gain, especially among the younger generation who best understands the contemporary meaning of social media as a form of communication and relationship.

So, here’s my modern-day 21-year-old account of what it means to “like” and “comment” on Facebook.

The “Like”

Generally, “liking” a post sends the message that you’re reading what others are writing, and you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say and what’s going on their lives. Depending on the nature of the post, a “like” can hold different meanings.

If someone posts about an accomplishment, such as acquiring a new job, a “like” can indicate congratulations, kind of like giving someone a high-five, if you will. If someone posts an opinion on an issue, a “like” can signal agreement, like nodding. If someone writes about or uploads pictures from a recent trip, a “like” means you enjoyed their post.

The overall benefit of “liking” something is so the other person knows you’re interested in their life and their thoughts. It indirectly tells them you’re taking time to invest in them.

People post things online so that others see it, read it, watch it, etc. They want to know people care, and they want to know who those people are. “Liking” is a quick and effective way to motion your involvement.  

The “Comment”

“Commenting” takes online communication to the next level by allowing you to add a personal flair. While “liking” a post shows awareness and interest, “commenting” shows engagement and reflection. Writing out a personal thought, even when it is online, is just as valued as if it were tangible.

Naturally, some posts will connect with you more than others. For the ones that grab your attention, “commenting” lets you create an individual connection with the post and the writer.

A “comment” can begin and foster conversation with others. Relationships are built on dialogue and discussion, and “commenting” on Facebook posts provides another way by which to do so.

If you have a question or are interested in hearing more about someone’s post, respond with a “comment.” Or, perhaps you don’t agree with someone’s post. You don’t need to feel compelled to “like” the post just to signify you read and cared about it. If you’re interested in responding to them, you can make a “comment” to express your reaction.

In life, we all have reactions. We love, we dislike, we praise, we question, we agree, we disagree. “Commenting” allows us to verbally express our individual thoughts to others and bring our online-self to life.

Next Steps

In the social media world, no rule exists that you must “like” or “comment” on others’ post. These functions exist solely to deepen your experience and relationship with others. It’s made for you, so you might as well take advantage of it!

As I said before, the best relationships are a two-way street. When you post, I hope you notice who “likes” and “comments” on your posts. Join in the social media conversation, and create a more personal experience.

We’re interested to hear how your venture with “likes” and “comments” goes, so please Share Your Story with us!

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