Is a like really just a like on social media?

I’ve been thinking a lot of ‘likes’ on social media recently. It all came about a few months ago when my mate Vicki asked her insta followers whether they classed a partner liking another persons pictures on Instagram was the same as cheating. And co-incidentally, I’d been having a conversation with a friend at work about their other half not liking her liking pictures of blokes on insta. So the whole concept of ‘is a like, just a like’ has been swirling around my head for a bit now.

For me, for what it’s worth, and it could be easy for me to say as Dave is unequivocally anti social media, but I honestly couldn’t give a stuff who Dave follows or likes pictures of on Instagram. Because I would hate to think I wans’t allowed to like whatever I wanted to on my own social media, whether that be a picture of my best mate’s breakfast or Jake Gyllenhaal with his top off.

BUT it did make me wonder whether even I, the chillest of the chilled, in terms of this subject has a limit. For example, take celebrities out the the equation, how would I feel if Dave was constantly liking pictures of non celeb girls, or girls in their knickers, or girls with bigger boobies then me (which is most girls to be fair) how would I feel about that? It feels a bit different than liking Gabby from Love Island’s pictures. But then I have lots of lad mates on my socials, who’s pictures I like regularly, some of whom are good looking men, and firmly believe there’s no harm in it, and Dave would have nothing to worry about, so is there a double standard there?

I mean, personally the notion that simply liking a picture on Instagram is the same as cheating is bonkers to me and would be a huge red flag. At best it shows some pretty clear insecurities and at worse it’s a potentially slippery slope for some toxic, gaslighting behaviour. But I also concede there’s a generational element to this I’m almost 40, so far too long in the tooth to be worrying my old brain with social media politics. The young’uns these days though seem to take it so seriously Like sliding into someone’s DM’s is a legitimate way of meeting these days, so in that respect, it’s easy to see how a like could escalate into something more.

So the cheating thing aside, do I think a like is just a like? Well, yes and no. We’ve all done the passive/aggressive like. When someone’s on a night out you haven’t been invited to and you want them to know you’ve seen the post, you give it a like. Similarly there’s the passive/aggressive lack of a like; people who’s silence speaks volumes in their lack of support for a picture or in my case sometimes, blog posts.

Here’s the thing though. It’s human nature to like to be liked and social media, instagram particularly, is all about the likes, that’s the whole point of the app. Stripped back to basics, I like to think that when I post picture 1 billion of me with a glass of wine, those who know me, and even some who don’t will think ‘aaah that’s nice, Helen’s at her happiest’: like! And there’s nothing more malicious than that. I certainly don’t think some 6 foot dark haired, blued eyed Hollywood hunk about to slide into my DM’s. Again, that’s probably just the age thing though.



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