Basing decisions on Facebook LIKES

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In her blog The Green Bough, Oriah writes that “We do not need permission to live our life guided by that which lives within us.” Nonetheless, she believes we often wait for it or ask for it.

americanpresidentmovieIn the 1995 movie “The American President,” Michael Douglas (the widowed President) wants to date Annette Bening (a lobbyist). When he mentions this to Martin Sheen (his chief of staff), Sheen offers to “crunch some numbers” to see how much of a “hit in the polls” the President would suffer. It’s both an amusing moment and a strong hint about what our leaders must think about day to day.

After all, we put them in office to serve us.

On Facebook, I see pages (everything from organizations to public figures to authors) seeking more and more LIKES. LIKES rule the roost on Facebook for, without them, status updates from official PAGES and personal PROFILES get less play in the daily news feed.

New conscience or new god?

New conscience or new god?

When people post political statements and/or platitudes, they often come with the suggestion to LIKE AND SHARE if we agree. Of course, this gets the word out about the new book, the petition drive, the cause or the event.

What gives me pause are those posts in which an individual is thinking of changing jobs, pondering a new point of view, ditching a lover or wondering whether they were too harsh or too lenient with a friend, child, spouse or co-worker. How do we help? With LIKES and associated comments.

I’m not sure this is a good way to live, crunching Facebook LIKES, so to speak, before we do or say what he already know we want to do or say. Do we really need permission from our online friends or even our non-virtual friends before we can act?

I hope not. Life isn’t an on-going political campaign or popularity contest, I don’t think. We know who we are without checking Facebook or crunching real and virtual LIKES.

Yes, it was funny in the movie; but when I see it happening on Facebook, it’s a bit frightening.

–Malcolm

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