Friday, October 2, 2015

Facebook Likes

What is Facebook Really About?
By Jim Vail

This facebook posting of an art project generated lots of likes.

I decided to post this picture I took of my students doing an art project in my second grade class last year on Facebook.


Well, first of all, I thought it was cute. And Facebook specializes in cuteness. People enjoy posting pictures of themselves, their friends, or funny videos of cats or people or whatever.

Then there is the popularity contest. So after I posted this cute picture, and I must say giving the kids clay they create some of the most amazing creative stuff, the likes started coming.

I don't usually get likes when I post stories from Second City Teachers news blog. I conclude it's too serious.

Then I see those active people on Facebook getting hundreds of likes after they post a picture, an updated profile pic or a very witty saying.

So after I posted this picture, the likes started coming. Now I'm no celebrity generating millions, or someone more well-known locally who could get 1,000s to like them. Why I didn't even generate a hundred or two hundred likes that I see some of my fellow colleagues earn. 

But I started seeing the likes from friends and what not come in, and it made me feel, well, 'liked.'

And then the comments. Which Mr. Vail is this? Me, not my brother who also teaches. Did your students make this today? No, it was taken last year to my 'delightful surprise.' And one facebooker commented that he remembered me as his teacher back in 2001. And I remembered him, Raymundo from Guatamala, who performed his role to perfection as Stanely Kuwalski in A Street Car Named Desire in my Lakeview Learning Center intensive ESL class.

So Facebook is fun, no doubt. And if you know how to play the game, you too can generate lots of likes, and plenty of cool comments.

Of course there is the flip side - losing friends on Facebook when it gets too political. That happened plenty when war broke out in Ukraine and the pro and anti Russian sides took aim at each other.

So I guess leave out the political stuff, the serious stuff, and have fun. 

But wait, my son Leo says Facebook is 'old fashioned.' Really, are we adults already being labeled dinosaurs in the cybermarket that we thought we just started getting the hang of.

And what about serious stuff. People don't read newspapers like before - they read Facebook and other social media sites. Are they getting educated, informed or taking a good break from the grim reality that surrounds us?

I had in the back of my mind a little seriousness to add to the pic - such as perhaps lamenting that we no longer have an art teacher for the children because of the school cuts. No, keep it simple stupid. And cute!

Well, we are all still trying to figure this out. Facebook is certainly here and followed and liked by almost a billion of us around the world. It is here and now, to hell with tomorrow. 

Now, what cute picture can I think of next to post to keep my likes coming?

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