Facebook. The Social Network. The place where you can message friends, like photos and wipe your moral conscience clean daily. Yes, more and more frequently, the admin behind those facebook pages you liked three years ago because you thought they were hilarious but actually now rather regret liking at all, are uploading pictures ranging from the mundane to quite distasteful, all titled ‘Like if…’. An example scenario would be a picture of a BN BN biscuit uploaded with the title, ‘Like if you remember these and are a true nineties kid’. Why is she getting her knickers in a twist when there are biscuits involved? I hear you ask. Well my friends, it’s not just pictures of biscuits that are being uploaded. It has reached the point where I could create a ‘like page’, upload a picture of some toilet roll and say ‘Like if you ever use this’, and get over a hundred likes. Seriously. In the last holiday off college, I was scrolling down my Facebook page and there was a picture of a dog in a thumbprint. The title of the picture was, ‘Like if you can see the dog’. How painfully boring does life have to be for liking a picture of a dog that is so mind-numbingly obviously there to be a fun way to pass the time? Go into Google and type in ‘Adopt a Llama’. You’d be amazed at how time flies as you choose your new companion.
My Facebook friends are not just liking pointless photos. They, and by they I mean girls, are liking photos of mushy, cringey quotes about relationships. If one or two of these photos appeared down my News Feed every so often, I would deal with the cringe and just keep on scrolling. Every so often is not the case. Instead, it’s every single time I log into my Facebook, and the quotes constantly use terrible grammar. ‘Their’ instead of ‘they’re’, ‘you’re’ instead of ‘your’ and vice versa. Now, don’t get me wrong, we all have our nights where we scream the lyrics of ‘Come What May’ to pictures of Ewan McGregor whilst crying into our third tub of Ben and Jerry’s as we accept a future living with 27 cats we’ve knitted matching His and Hers outfits for – or maybe that’s just me – but never, ever stoop down to bad grammar. Even if you do want the perfect relationship the badly constructed quote describes. Buy a dictionary. Maybe the guy at the till will be super cute and nice, will like you back and slip his number into the inside of your dictionary cover all Carley Rae Jepson ‘Call Me Maybe’ style, and boom! no more need for knitting needles and feline friends. Or maybe the guy at the till will be a 45 year old woman who ate all the pies and looks like she wants to hit every human being over the head with the dictionary you’re buying. Maybe. But hey, you never know if you don’t get your booty out into the big wide world and look instead of sitting behind a computer screen and liking a million pictures about what you want from a relationship because an admin page told you to.
My next point is more serious. It is about my least favourite kind of ‘Like if…’ pictures. Pictures that are often titled ‘Like if you have respect’, but are quite frankly disrespectful and upsetting. Babies in incubators with wires coming out of them, disfigured army men, grandparents on their deathbeds. ‘Like if you want them to live’, ‘like if you respect this man’, ‘like if you want terminal illness to not exist’. I would never wish death on any baby, or any human being. I respect any man unless he gives me a strong reason not to. If I could, I would make terminal illnesses non existent. That doesn’t mean that everytime I log onto Facebook I want to see photos of distressing situations where there’s an option of clicking ‘like’ so that I can clear my conscience for the day. ‘Liking’ the photo won’t change the situation captured or make me a better human being. Just like ignoring it doesn’t make me a bad human being like the photo’s caption would suggest. People are suddenly being given the chance to feel as though they’ve done something good by ‘liking’ a picture. Maybe if every ‘like’ resulted in the uploader giving money to a charity directly helping people in a similar situation to the person in the picture, I could understand. But that doesn’t happen.
I would like to finish with the following thought. Generations above us constantly call us ‘the lazy generation’. Prove them wrong. Don’t be.