A like for a like isn’t love

Like isn't love.

Image Credits – Pixabay. Like isn’t love.

Recently an acquaintance called me. She has always been kind enough to check on me and my well-being. We spoke at length about our careers, things we are doing, travel plans and common friends. Then I asked her about someone we knew and what I heard, I hadn’t expected.

She said, “She likes my pictures and I like hers. We are connected and are friends.”

This made me think of other conversations like,

If he calls me on my birthday, I will call him too.

Many bloggers send personal messages to ask for comments or likes. Some follow a blog because the other person followed. Many Twitter and Instagram followers take this approach.

What kind of world do we live in? Why should it be ‘give and take’ and that too so superficial? Is there a reason people fall prey to the notion of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours? And if we do so, why do we?

Has the world come to a stage where we are looking to gather brownie points? And trying to be in the good books of everyone. Are we trying to be a version of us who we are not? Are we grateful for what we have or do we want to let others know that our life is a box of assorted chocolates?

If you are wondering this is a sudden realization, no this isn’t. Social media and technology has got more people to know each other’s whereabouts but hasn’t made lasting connections. In most cases, I mean. We stay away from calling if messaging on Whatsapp works. Reactions like love, sad, funny and angry have replaced words of encouragement.

Not that I don’t use social media but I would like to believe that I know where is the line that separates real from fake. For me, a relationship and its value isn’t judged by how many likes and comments and by whom. I would be okay if a friend forgets my birthday because she would still be by my side when I need her.

All that is me.

What about you? What would you say?

Writing for Day 7 of Write Tribe Problogger Challenge.

45 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am sorry to say, how naïve some commenters are in your post. I would not have replied but thought let’s see if it can help change any thinking , though I’m always doubtful of that.

    What you do not want to get transpired by likes or “thumbs up sign” or very good comments, you still write it. And that has to be done. Because everyone has some motives lying underneath their skin. Some comment or like only because they too are bloggers. And if you don’t respond to them, would you be getting as many readers? You can’t just read them & forget. You have to let them know that they have been read & weather or not, they have been liked too. That’s what it has become about.

    And for those who get pain in neck while using social media, why don’t they re-adopt the older ways and shrug off the current ones. I just fail to understand the way this world works. Criticizing but still adopting it! Numerous well known persons, whom we quote all the time, have dropped their awards if they have protested in some linkage to it. But then we are not well known, right? It doesn’t matter if we follow & criticize at the same time.
    And pictures, my god, it has got a new dimension altogether. No pictures are taken only to keep in the album. It has to see the light of social media, else it’s a waste of time.

    You know I have read & learnt many recipes from internet. But all those to which I have ever responded are the ones which actually got verified in my own kitchen. If not (possibly because of my own miscalculation), then I’ve not criticized or even commented back. Because they might have been god for others. Who knows? But only when these have turned out to be tasty dishes that I have returned back to the bloggers and thanked them. Fan mail you can say. How many do you think are actually just commenting because they really liked your post? And not because they want you to post your comment when they post. I would say the number would reduce to one third at least. It’s all posting back you see – in the form of like or like to a like.

  2. As far as blogging goes, we have all been part of this vicious cycle of like for like/ comments etc. But you soon learn what matters to you. I try to read new blogs and share the ones that I like but I have completely zero expectations of them returning back that love. If they do, I get super happy. But if they don’t, that’s okay as well.
    Similarly, I have you and other blogs that I follow regularly. I feel I can come back to you guys and read anytime I want. Even if I am not blogging regularly.
    Any relationship, be it online or offline, takes a certain amount of effort. I can’t deal with bloggers who comment just for the sake of it.
    Lovely post that called for such introspection. Thanks!

  3. I don’t have the time or the patience for the ‘like-for-like’ mentality. I am all for supporting others and encouraging others but if it’s not someone or something I genuinely support, I will not do it. If that means they are going to stop commenting on my blog or liking my posts, so be it. In the end, relationships are not to be based on that at all. Thought-provoking and relevant post.

  4. I like the way you put it. I am connected to very few people, but truth be told I always connected to few people, most of the others were usually just acquaintances. With time you realize that your circle of valuable people reduces, you only have those people who really care and not go by the give and take policy.

  5. Vidya Sury says:

    Well said, Parul. When starts off voluntarily turns into meeting expectations, it is time to step back and take stock. For the most part, I am fine with a like for a like–on those days when I am active and online. Otherwise, I am pretty much happy in my own world offline. I am lucky most of my close friends aren’t active on social media or even bloggers for that matter. But I know that they’ll be the first to support me when they sense I need it.

    And by the way, reciprocity is a lonely word online.

    Wonderful thought-provoking post!
    Vidya Sury recently posted…The Cozy Warmth of GratitudeMy Profile

  6. vineeta says:

    Really thought provoking post . This whatsapp, messaging, instagram etc etc have spoiled the relationship. Though information is received quickly but it lacks love and warmth . without any feeling or sentiments likes and dislikes are sent like a robot .
    Giving gifts do not mean that you love to that person but something should be there to show that u love to that person . Expressions should be in whichever you think .
    Loved your post

  7. Ravish Mani says:

    Parul, it is a very thought-provoking post. Here are the thoughts that crossed my mind while reading this post of yours:

    Your first line states, “A like for a like isn’t love” and your last line states, “Show me some love and share this post!” What does it mean? Isn’t it confusing?

    I always wonder how to convey love! I express my love by giving gifts. But it could be interpreted in two ways:
    1. I love therefore I give gifts; or
    2. I give gifts therefore I love

    How to convey the first one? It’s very difficult because most of us are not familiar with the first one but with the second one. For most of us, love is simply a desire of being desired and hence, the eternal problem of love is how to become and remain desirable.

    The individual used to find an answer to this problem by submitting his life to community values. Everyone has a specific part to play according to one’s sex, age, social status; and one has to play one’s part to be valued and loved by the whole community. And, virtual community is no different.

    People say that love is unconditional but everyone’s love is based on conditions – conditions could be small or big, like you said, “I would be okay if a friend forgets my birthday because she would still be by my side when I need her.” Your friendship is still based on conditions though wishing on birthdays is not on the list of conditions. That’s it.

    Rahim does not praise the give and take of love,
    Put your life at stake whether victory or defeat.

    Rahim says, riding through fire on a horse of wax,
    The path of love is this hard, not everyone succeeds.

    Why is Rahim saying the path of love is not for everyone? This is because the people that are the hardest to love are usually the ones who need it the most.
    Ravish Mani recently posted…The Heart Listens to No One by Purba ChakrabortyMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Loved your thoughts Ravish and I am glad you found the post thought provoking to share your candid views.

      Great call out! I should say, “feel free to share if you liked the post”. And you are right, I am not looking for a share where the thoughts don’t align.

      You have raised very valid point. Gifts and love. Something that keeps on going in my mind. I would say, I give a gift because I love the person. And I am okay if someone loves me but doesn’t give me a gift. My husband has hardly given me a gift and I keep joking about this but in my heart, I am good with out one too.

      You have piqued my interest to write more on the topic. 🙂

  8. Rajlakshmi says:

    Ahhh that wormhole of likes nd comments… Once you get in, it takes over you. I just came out of that loop and it feels so wonderful.
    I can totally understand what you are talking about.
    You know my best friends are not active on social media… We keep in touch by actually being in touch.😀
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Shadow Ban brought me back to Reality!My Profile

  9. Varsh says:

    There’s a difference between relationships that form on social media and real ones that have become dependent on social media. The latter has some relevance, but the former as I’ve seen is mostly for some kind of mutual arrangement.
    Who chooses to like pictures and to what end is a personal matter, I feel. My best friends don’t use social media at all. We only call or whatsapp each other as per convenience.

  10. Ah the sad reality of present day life!!! I try to stay stir of this actually, cause I really cant understand this like for like. I know that possibly a lot of my earlier readers still arent reading the blogs, but its ok. I cant do much about it…

  11. Shilpa Garg says:

    Social media has changed the way we communicate with people. While, I use social media for blogging, but I still prefer the good old way of picking the phone and calling or meeting friends in person.
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Books & I… A Book Lover’s Tag #WriteBravelyMy Profile

  12. I’ve often been annoyed by this like for like, follow for follow trend! I’ve seen this a lot on Instagram and yes, blogging too! The worst that I’ve seen on Instagram is when some random person with a lot of followers follows me and if I like their feed, I follow them back. But in a few days, they unfollow me – not because my content is bad but just because I was just one more number to their follower count! For me I’d personally like something or follow someone only if I want to. Sometimes I like social media for helping me stay in touch, but things like these really annoy me!

  13. Oh you have hit the nail on the head on this one Parul! Back scratching is the new game for bloggers and social media addicts who are chasing numbers! But then there are also folks who have formed a great relationship vis-a-vis online connects and are just friends no matter what. My besties are not active on FB or whatsapp and we connect on phone or when we meet cos for us that connection will always be there! So really its upto folks to decide what length of connect they are looking for! And everyone cant be friends with everyone either 🙂

  14. Sid says:

    It’s a tough nut to crack really, Parul. Both sort of necessary evils, I’d say. Although, blogging does take ‘backscratching’ to new heights. But then again, I’ve met some of the people who mean the world to me today, through blogging. And one of them doesn’t even read me now – but she still remains one of my closest friends.
    So I guess, as long you’re fine with the expectations of what you’re getting into, it helps.
    Sid recently posted…You, Me and UsMy Profile

  15. Shilpa Gupte says:

    You are so true in thinking this way, Parul. Just because someone Likes our work then it means they like us – that attitude is so wrong. My best friend is not on Fb, or Instagram, she doesn’t even know the drawings I make or the posts I write, but at the end of the day, when I want to cry my heart out, I know I can call her any time, and vice versa. And, on the other hand, the people who Like each and every drawing/post of mine are just my FB ‘friends’, not the real ones. My real friends might never know my artwork/writing, but they sure know me inside out and accept me as I am, and for me that is what matters. I believe in the vibes of the heart more than the Likes I receive for my creativity. Social media has sure twisted the way we look at relationships and friendships. It has, in fact, changed the entire meaning of relationships.

  16. Nupur says:

    Very true. Although no relationship can last if it’s one way.

  17. I guess all of us have gone through this phase where we pushed ourselves headlong in the romance of new found friends on social media, like, shares, tags and comments and then slowly figured out how ephemeral and sometimes shallow the whole scenario is. Getting attached to ones social media accounts, followers and likes is a sure-shot recipe for depression and heartbreak. Once you let go, it becomes more balanced and enjoyable. And aren’t we lucky to have friends and family members who are not even connected on social media. I guess, it is a social media curve that all of us follow.

  18. Rashmi says:

    Exactly my point Parul! It is saddening to see that people commenting and encouraging you suddenly stop if you forget to comment/like their posts someday. I mean, what, suddenly they aren’t your friends anymore? Suddenly they don’t want to encourage you anymore? Weird! But then again, for someone who works in the creative field, social media is a necessary evil – the work needs to be put out there for people to read and appreciate it. It’s a chicken and egg situation
    Rashmi recently posted…Boo!My Profile

  19. Seriously, the backscratching sometimes takes new heights. But social media is configured that way. For example, Instagram will throw up more pictures from people whose pictures you’ve liked recently. As much as I use social media for blogging, I’m always wary of it too. I love that my closest friends aren’t even bloggers.

  20. I too dont like artificial friendships. A few people watch how many of their friends hit like to their photos and get hurt when someone don’t hit like. This social media is spoiling the mindset too. But i don’t avoid social media. Good thing is to remember that one cannot replace the feeling of direct call or a meet to a hearty wish on facebook.
    Mahathi Ramya recently posted…A beautiful chapel and Aircraft exhibits – Colorado Springs, CO, USAMy Profile

  21. Nidhi GS says:

    that’s my point…. if someone is not visiting or commenting on my posts or blog… I seriously don’t care as I am doing my work and that too what makes us feel good we should always do that

  22. Sulekha says:

    Parul, there is this need to be liked and be popular online and that is making people behave in this manner. I had a person, wouldn’t call her a friend, write a nasty message to me because I didn’t like her pictures enough and didn’t comment on her posts to her liking 🙂 If people like my writing they come and read, leave comments and I am fine with that. Some of my friends don’t comment on my blog posts and I am okay with that too. I have had many posts in the past with one or two comments only but that didn’t make me go crazy writing to all my friends to comment on my post. I have been steadily working on improving my writing skills and enjoying the journey. I am a happy writer and reader 🙂

  23. You make some great points! I hate the like-for-a-like and follow-for-a-follow stuff; I don’t subscribe to that. If I enjoy you, or your writing, or your photos– whatever it may be– I will follow you, because I actually want to, and I want to engage with you. It’s more real that way. 🙂

  24. Vinitha says:

    I have many close friends who don’t ‘like’ what I share on social media and I never felt anything odd about it. I am not waiting around for likes either nor do I jump to like on everything I see. I don’t understand why likes and comments are so important to some people. Even on my blog I like to have only genuine readers. Whenever I cone across please like my page or follow me, I will follow you back sorts, I have steered clear from them. Food for thought, Parul. If you don’t visit me for a month or so I would worry what happened to you, I won’t stop visiting you just because I’m not getting any. You would do the same, right? 🙂
    Vinitha recently posted…The Monster #writebravely #WritrtribeprobloggerMy Profile

  25. My best friend of 21 years is not even friends with me on Facebook but we are in touch offline 🙂 And I have very close friends on Facebook who don’t like/comment on my posts. And I am okay with that too. To be honest, this evolution from social media validation to the point of knowing that these things don’t really matter is something we all go through. It’s normal. It’s necessary I would say. Without that fatigue, we wouldn’t value the treasured notes, the little messages that are meaningful and happy. It’s important to stay grounded amidst the likes/hearts and retweets. It’s better for us 🙂
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…On being a strict momMy Profile

  26. Lata Sunil says:

    So true Parul. My friends are not even active on Facebook as we belong to a generation brought up with no internet connection. But, they are the ones I turn to for help. Also, I hate this ‘I will comment for you, and you comment for me’. I comment if I like and the post touched me, I will share if I want others to read it and if nothing else, I will ‘like’ the post if I genuinely liked it.

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