Facebook’s biggest contribution to civilization is the like button.
Before we could like things, we had to decide whether something was 3 stars or 4 stars and I could never decide whether 3 stars meant this is pretty good or I am quite disappointed in this but not enough to give it two stars. 4 stars for me means it’s fairly bloody amazing but not quite up there with the all time greats but for someone else it might be it’s not their best work and, frankly, I am a bit disappointed. What if you change your grading scheme three years into using, say, Netflix? Would you have to go and recalibrate all your scores? And what does it mean when something is three and a half stars?
No. Like is so much simpler. You either liked it or you didn’t. If you want to say some thing more, you can share it or blog about it.
Like is liberating too. You don’t have to give it too much thought. If it made you smile, click the like button. It’ll make the person at the other end smile too to see that little red number 1 that says “Pew, Barney McGrew and four others liked your post”.
For some reason, +1 doesn’t quite have the emotional effect that like has. I click +1 all the time on stuff like posts in Google Reader but I am never quite sure where all those 1s go. Does Google have a big bucket of 1s somewhere that I’ll get to enjoy later?
I click like all the time now, even on my stuff, and I get to smile twice. Last night, I reviewed a ton of old posts to see if there were any problems in my new layout and, of course, ended up reading them all. Every time I read one that made me smile, I clicked like. I didn’t even care that no one else would see it. Try it yourself. Start with the highlights down there in the fat footer.