I’m not a very social person and I’m not a fan of doing things because they are socially dictated. I have no problem not saying goodbye when leaving a party or ignoring the fact that it is a person’s birthday when I see them rather than wishing them a happy birthday. This applies to social media as well, where I have no problem ignoring a request to like a page or an event. My reasoning is that I want my likes to be pure (which, now that I am typing this, also means they are more valuable) and by pure I mean that I genuinely like the things I like.

I think I’m in the minority. I don’t think most people think twice about being asked to like something. I think that most people will do so out of social obligation even if they feel ambivalent about or dislike the thing. That leads me to the question “what is the value of a socially obligated like?”

I do believe there is some potential value. For instance, when a local high school football player is going door-to-door selling something to raise money for the team and stops at my house, I feel a social obligation to give money (which is kind of strange, given the examples of times I don’t feel socially obligated that I listed above.) I’ll buy something from that kid if that something is in the $10-$20 range. But that small amount of money won’t get a business that far, if a person even feels the same kind of social obligation.

I can’t answer my question right now even though I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit. I don’t think I have enough information to come to a solid, logical conclusion yet. But my gut is telling me that they are worthless and maybe even harmful. I’m going to keep trying to put my finger on exactly why I feel that way.