Sunday, 22 July 2012

Facebook Liturgy of "Liking"

The urge to "Like" things on Facebook is one of the greatest social rites of passage of this post-modern era. Corporations, Clubs and Organisations - indeed, even this humble retreat house and religious community. I've no idea why we do this - and neither, I suspect, have you. (But go on, give us a "like"... you know you want to...)

But the fact you have "liked" something can have awful impacts. If you're hoping to be a financial accountant in the City, you may think twice before"liking" UK Uncut. A wannabe Prime Minister probably shouldn't "Like" the Legalise Cannabis Campaign. A Klu Klux Klan grand-master or whatever might regret "liking" Liza Minelli. One should think very hard before "Liking" things. These things live on your timeline - and don't really go away. That's why we've introduced this mini-Catechism for Liking - as a way to give you a short time to consider whether you really want to "like".

The Archdruid, the one who wishes to do some "liking" on Facebook (which may be "N", or as it may be "M") and at least three witnesses gather around the computer screen.


Archdruid: N, (or M and N, as the case may be) you have expressed an interest in "liking" the Barney the Dinosaur Page (or, as it may be, "The Olympics", the "Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley" or "That Fish from Marillion"). Do you agree that this is what you're planning to do?

N: I do.

Archdruid: "Liking" is intended by Facebook to be a creative relationship. The "liker" shows their appreciation for the "likee" - and promises to stick with them through thick and, let's face it, thick. For Facebookers it is an expression of approval which will last until you sort through your timeline in six months' time and discover that, in a drunken moment of nostalgia for the 1980s, you "liked" the New Romantic group  Visage. "Liking" is not a step to be taken lightly or carelessly - except, of course, if you take it lightly and carelessly. Cos let's face it, it's like marriage - easy enough to get out of these days. Frankly I was more concerned about that Bruno Mars tattoo you got last week. I therefore ask you: Do you really "like" this poxy Facebook page?

N: I do.

The liturgy of dissuasion

Archdruid: Will you enjoy seeing your name against this ridiculous organisation (or, as it may be, "stupid religious group", "cartoon arthropod" etc)?

N: I will.

Archdruid: Are you aware that your boss, your wife, your religious community leader, all your friends and that bloke you met on holiday and agreed to get in touch with on Facebook but now wish you hadn't, will all be able to see that you "like" this page?

N: I am.

Archdruid: And yet you still want to press the "Like" button?

N: I do.

Archdruid: Don't you think, given all those drunken photos you posted from Kefalonia last week, you've got enough to live down?

N: No, it's cool.

Archdruid: OK, you'd better do it then.

The ritual of Pressing the Button

N: You know, you're right. It's a bit pants isn't it?

All: And also with you.


  1. Like. I've even shared your post on Facebook. Will I regret this in 6 months time? (PS. It's too early in the morning to be drunk.)


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