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How We Got ‘Likes’ Before Facebook

Posted on May 28, 2018
By Mike Harper
89.5 KVNE East Texas Christian Radio How We Got Likes Before Facebook Heard On Air Blog
Mike Harper
89.5 KVNE Mornings

I know it’s hard to imagine, especially if you’re under 20, (which is something hard for ME to imagine) but we had to come up with stuff. We had to work at it. We were pioneers, dang it!

Consider this a history lesson from your good ol’ Uncle Mike.

Before Facebook, life was simpler. I didn’t say better. Maybe it was. I don’t remember. But I know it was simpler. Want proof? Try doing any of the following without whipping out your phone:

  • Sitting in a waiting room
  • Pumping gas
  • During a commercial
  • Going to the bathroom (Did I say that out loud?)

I’ve heard people do that.

It won’t feel natural at first, but I’m confident that after a minute of subtle withdrawals to which you’ll be hesitant to admit, you’ll find yourself thinking about stuff – on your own. And from what I can gather from my extensive study, (all done on my phone) this is good.

So, if you’re an adult over the age of say, 25, travel back with me as far as your chronology will allow. The ‘90s? ‘80s? ‘70s? And dare I say it? ‘60s?!!! And if you remember the ‘50s, you have my utmost respect.

Yes, while all these decades are known for their unique aspects of the culture, there is one thing they all share in common. And it’s something each decade lacked:

Social media.

Here are three ways we got likes before there were likes. Incidentally, these methods are still available today.

1) Talking.

Not typing. Typing is fine, but texting, Facebook messaging, tweeting, etc. are overused, overrated, and “over-liked.” See what I did there?

Why are we hesitant to talk when we can type? Because talking requires risk. Talking means you might awkwardly say something, or could be taken out of context, or God forbid you have to listen to somebody ramble on about themselves.

That’s what we did, by golly. We were tough. And we’ve got the emotional scars to prove it. It’s why we look older than we actually are.

But many times talking really worked! People got along! We said stuff! It was affirming, and good for our precious self-esteem. And we didn’t even have to check our spelling. It was, and I know this will be hard for some to believe, better than a “like.”

2) Smiling.

Not the emoji — actually smiling at somebody in person! Many studies have shown that on average people who smile at other people will have a 99% chance of receiving a smile of equal or greater value in return! Talk about a worthwhile investment! What a great “like”!

By the way, the 1% that did not smile back were looking at their phones.

3) Giving.

Giving can mean anything from money, time, or energy. It’s long been known that a great way to feel better about yourself is to make someone else feel better about him or herself. Donate a gift. Offer to help. Give a compliment.

Be known for your generosity. You’ll be surprised by the intangible benefits!

These and other ways have always been proven to win friends and influence people. That’s what we called it before the age of “likes.”

It’s an M.O. long time-tested and God-approved.

“…value others above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3

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