We all have an understanding of the power of a like. We understand that when we like a friend’s new Instagram post we are providing them with a sense of validation and a shot of confidence. We know this because when it happens to us, we feel the same. Even on a small scale, we understand the power we have and the power that has been given to us by social media.
Recently, my dad has got really into Twitter. Not like he tweets or anything, thank God, but that he seems to be on it a lot, just following random business people and such like. But I saw that he followed Piers Morgan. When I voiced my aversion, he replied that we should follow those that we may disagree with for the purpose of opening ourselves to a variety of opinions. I mean, I’m summarising but that was basically the point.
And that’s completely valid. So many exist in a bubble that serves only to strengthen their thoughts and ideals because that is all they allow themselves to hear. However, in this instance, I couldn’t seem to accept that answer. I didn’t think someone like Piers Morgan deserved a follow, as someone who seems to merely exist for the sake of being an outspoken controversialist with his only goal being to generate publicity for himself and to further circulate his name. So, I may have a slight bias against him.
However, for someone like Morgan who thrives off the number of followers he has on Twitter, the amount of people that he can claim as followers provides him merit as a public person and are essential to his ego. It’s not unlike his buddy President Trump, who tweets new and outrageous things when for a moment, media attention seems to be not on him.
Though it may seem petty, I did not want to follow the President. Instead, I followed a Twitter account called UnFollowTrump that retweets every tweet of Trump’s while also making sure you are not giving him the satisfaction of seeing his numbers rise.
That may seem like I have a totally inflated sense of importance and that my understanding of social media is completely skewered. However, like a vote, a like or follow can elevate and bring to prominence a person or viewpoint. Also like a vote, such an action can appear so minuscule and insignificant that they are almost pointless to conduct. But that does not mean we should not do so.
Our abilities to follow and like may seem small. And they are. But social media has provided us all with the ability to rise those and make others fall. So, we should open ourselves up to other opinions but open yourself to the right kind of person and organisation that is worthy of your attention.
So like the posts on Twitter and Facebook that you think are important and deserve recognition. Follow causes that you believe in. Follow people that make you laugh.
Also, see the things you want more of. With this surge of diversity on our screens, the amount of people that turn up ensures that the surge is not momentary. Watch ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’. When it open in the UK, go see ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. Our participation matters and we should use it for good.