My parents don't like me.
I know this because if they truly did, they would join facebook and spend the next several hours scrolling through every mundane post I've ever made, clicking "like" under each one. If they loved me, they'd even respond to each post with typed words.
My grandparents don't like me either. Especially the three dead ones. Surely they have the ability to click "like" from beyond the grave without even joining facebook, but they're not doing this.
For those of you who aren't facebook savvy (I use term "savvy" because it sounds so much more distinguished than "obsessed"), under each typed comment one enters, exist two little blue words: "comment" and "like." If you click on the "like" button, a tiny blue thumbs up icon appears, next to the words "You like this." It's a head nod to the writer of the comment. A "this made me smile" or "I agree!" or "I will now show my affection for your written skills by displaying a thumbs up for you."
I have become a like button whore.
The number of people in the world who actually like me fluctuates daily, as I see it; all contingent upon how many little blue thumbs up icons I see upon logging onto facebook, which I do more often in a day than I sneeze, use the bathroom, and brush my teeth- combined. At this very moment, I am liked by three people: an ex-student, a guy I haven't seen since 6th grade, and a girlfriend who was recently a house guest. She may feel obligated to like me at the moment, but the other two are perhaps the real deal.
A group of friends could show up to take me out to eat. They may knock on the door, greet me with flowers, and exclaim, "Bridget! We've come by to show our love and appreciation for you, good friend! Let us treat you to dinner!"
"Just a moment," I'd say, closing the door in their faces with a gentle click of the latch, as opposed to an angry slam. I'd scurry over to my laptop and log on. Upon navigating my way to my facebook wall and subsequent comments, I'd check to see if any of these bizarre 3-D people I've left on my front porch had actually liked anything I said. I'd close the laptop and return, suspect of their sincerity, if not merited by little blue thumbs ups left on my computer screen.
Once I post something, I prepare myself to receive your admiration or your indifference. Indifference equals hate, by the way. You probably didn't know this.
Bridget Maret would like to teach the world to sing...in that perfect off-key way that makes everyone just a little bit irritable.
4 minutes ago * Comment * Like
Enter. Poof. It's on my wall. Is it on the newsfeed? Click. It's on the newsfeed. Are people online? Click. People are online. Look at the little world icon. Any response? No response. Maybe that was only funny in my head. Is it still on the wall? Click. It's still on the wall. Is the Coca-Cola commercial reference too vague? Dated? I should have attached a youtube video of it. Let's watch the youtube video. Click. Type. Enter. Click. Oh, I loved that video. I'm a moron for not attaching that. Wonder if anyone's responded. Click. Check the world icon. Nope. Is it still on the newsfeed? Click. It's there. That was a stupid update. Makes me sounds like an asshole. What kind of asshole would want to make everyone irritable? Are you even like that? Not really. You're a pretty mellow and easy to get along with kind of person. Now you're a liar. Nice going, asshole. Check the wall. Click. There's your post, all hanging out there by itself. Unliked. You're an unlikable poster. You should delete it. Delete it right now. Check the world icon. Nothing. Delete it. Hurry, before people read it and see what a lying asshole you are. Check the newsfeed. Click. There it is, totally unliked. Oh, the humiliation.
This is what I've become.
On the flipside, I can wake up defeated, stumble over to my laptop, log on to facebook and be greeted by the equivalent of presents bursting from my Christmas stocking. Notifications! So and so likes your status. So and so commented on your status. So and so likes your status. So and so likes your status. Suddenly, I am Sally Field at the Oscars: "They like me! They really like me." I hug my laptop close to my chest and turn circles on the kitchen floor. Circles which evolve into pirouettes, really. Pirouettes that take me across the livingroom and out the front door. "They like me!" I sing, as I pirouette my way down Old Bonhomme Rd, blowing kisses of gratitude to the good people driving down the street. "Want to friend me on facebook?"
I hope to never see the day when technology advances in such a way that little hologram "like" buttons float near each person, about at belly-level. Here, in the midst of a conversation, one could virtually "like" what was being said. They could truly multi-task, paying bills yet reaching over to "like" their kid's description of a day at school or their wife's story about the funniest thing ever that happened on the way to get a manicure! Looking down and seeing a floating thumbs up would certainly boost the confidence of the speaker. But, think of the flipside.
In the meantime, I go to my facebook wall like a herion addict goes to his dealer. I know there's a genuine world waiting for me out there, full of people who assume they're liked by others just because there's no reason to assume the opposite. But until then, I'll be waiting for you to like me. Click.