Desperation’s never a good look

  • — Words by Lewis Dowling
  • Filed under Wordy thoughts

Pretty regularly I’ll get an email that makes me chuckle. Other times it’s just something I completely agree with. Whatever it is, I just want to clap the writer on the back and congratulate them on their stellar work.

They don’t ask me to – I just get the urge to let them know we’re on the same page. But weirdly, companies have this odd habit of asking us to applaud them.

Comedians don’t ask for laughs
If someone tells a great joke, we laugh and clap. ‘Ah yes, I acknowledge your intelligent quip, and it’s caused me mirth. Thank you.’ Or we all cheer and well up over a fantastic singer.

On Facebook we have the like button. When you see something funny or something that makes you think, you hit the thumbs up. ‘Yes, I like what you did there. Here is my appreciation.’

Sometimes we’ll go as far as to share, but that’s stretching it. You have to do something really awesome for me to litter my timeline with your words. (Otherwise you’ll bury all my witty posts.)

So why do businesses ask us for likes?
That’s why it’s so irritating when businesses have Facebook pages asking you to ‘like if you enjoy our product’. Or Twitter accounts asking for retweets. You’d never ask someone to give you a standing ovation or to laugh at your joke. So why do you feel the need to ask us to share, like or retweet? If we like you, we’ll do it anyway.

Sure, you’re trying to find out how many people read your post or tweet. But telling us what to do annoys the ones who might have ‘liked’ it anyway, and makes it arbitrary for the others. You skew the results. Instead of a conscious effort to praise you, it’s just a meaningless click.

Not only does it show you’re ignorant of the etiquette on social media, but it doesn’t give people a chance to genuinely show they liked what you did. You shouldn’t be telling us to appreciate you – you should be making us want to by giving us great content. You should be earning those likes.

So stop it.

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