Thursday, February 28, 2013

The "Unlike" Project

'dislike button' photo (c) 2011, Sean MacEntee - license: I made a rash decision. I decided to Unlike stuff on Facebook.

The reasons for this are not irrational. The reason I've clicked "Like" on TV shows, musical artists, movies, and whatever, is usually because I want my profile to say things about me when people visit it and look at my details. You take a good look at that stuff when you look at people's profiles, right?

What do you mean, you never look at people's profiles?

Basically, I've come to believe that my reasoning for wanting to click "Like" on stuff (to tell my friends I like it) is flawed. My friends don't typically see it. If they do, they don't care.

You know why?

Because they see it in advertising.

The main reason Facebook has "Like" is so they can sell advertising to you and your friends. "Michael likes Coke, so maybe you, his friend, will like this ad from Coke!" (This is why, by the way, there probably will never be a "Dislike" button.) I find this annoying, and I've decided I'm not going to be complicit in it anymore... but I have far too many "Likes" to "Unlike" them all at once. Besides, I've "Liked" a few of them on purpose. I want to see updates from that band on the road, or hear what's going on with that software package I use, or whatever. So starting today, I've decided to "Unlike" one single thing I've "Liked" but have no reason to continue to "Like".

I'm tweeting my daily Unlikes in my Twitter stream, using the hashtag #UnlikeProject. Would you like to join me in this quest to stop littering our friends' Facebook feeds with advertising that looks like it came personally recommended? Great! Tweet your unlikes to Twitter when you do, and use the #UnlikeProject hashtag. Let's see how many people are freeing themselves from being stooges for Facebook's advertisers!

(After the first month, I wrote a followup post. Here it is!)

Do you have a different take on Facebook "Likes"? If you do, please click the "comments" link below and join the discussion! And if you are tweeting your Unlikes on Twitter, feel free to link to this post (a short link is to explain your reasoning.