Imagine a real world art museum where right next to every painting or sculpture there was a small panel with a large blue button with a thumbs-up icon printed on it. “Like This!” it would read under the button.
In addition above the button a digital read out would be displayed “1,424,875 likes!”
How would you feel about all of this assault upon our sense of beauty, style, mystery and misery? There’s “Mona Lisa” with a big blue button next to it, the thumb icon mostly worn away, a yellowish human oil patina shadowing its lower half.
Why are we invited to mark something we enjoy as a recorded and tabulated “like”? What drives this pointless competition? This banal tally of peoples casual attention? Sure I like and dislike much of the world but I see no need to keep a running count of those things. Yet the likes of the Zuckerborg has personified this shallow grading system. And through it insists that we judge the world using our clicks. Why? For money of course. The ‘Borg cares for nothing but the valuation of Fadebook. Internet for the masses? Of course, as long as Fadebook provides and controls it.
Like This! I think not. I may indeed actually appreciate and value whatever “this” is, but I see no need to tell the world about it. Oh but you must! You say. It’s how things are valued on the net. How things are paid for on the net. For every 1,000,000 likes the author, photographer, painter, artisan gets a dollar from Fadebook. How else might they survive if not through our acknowledgement of their work through Like This!
Well, I say, if you like them so much, why not pay them directly with a tip system built so that artisans get paid directly from donations by patrons? Something like AddCents – a reverse adsense where instead of clicks costing the target, they pay the target. And clicks are paid for by the clicker from a google AddCents account. Donate a penny or a dollar to an artwork author, it gets deducted from your AddCents account.
Otherwise, liking something need not mean you scratch your singular mark on the wall next to the item being portrayed. Leave the wall alone. Like it in your mind like we’ve done for thousands of years. Leave the tally empty.