The Problem With Likes (Please Don’t Like This Unless You Read It!)

I have a problem with some LIKES. The ones that remove the “K” and are essentially LIES. Not malicious lies, but ones that don’t reflect someone truly enjoying and valuing our work.

See, where you get the LIKE matters. If I get a LIKE on this blog post, chances are this post was read. (And with bold directions in the headline, that’s especially true for this one.)


But if I add this blog post link to Facebook and someone LIKES it, they may just be saying they LIKE me, and they LIKE me for posting it. But that doesn’t mean they read it. In fact I know they did not, as the stats for the blog are always much lower than the number of LIKES on the Facebook post.

There were zero views of my website page, just likes on FB.

Same with a photography gallery page to a photo project. If someone comes to my page and goes through a post and LIKES it, I know they saw it. Not true if I post the same link on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook. I get many LIKES on my social media posts. All LIES! (But well-intentioned ones.)

So, while I am a big believer in printing our photographs and making a display that showcases them the way and size we want them to be viewed (no pinching and zooming–photographs aren’t meant to be interactive!), like framed and on a gallery wall ideally, it’s even more so today as most people are looking at photographs for split seconds on screens and often are LIKING work they didn’t even look at.

I’ve done it myself. A friend today posted a link on Facebook with a story he documented, and I immediately hit LIKE. Because I LIKE him. That’s not a fair LIKE, it’s a LIE. I didn’t get to his link to see the work, I said I’d get to it later. Later never happens.

So, between photography being reduced to phone glances and no printing, posting for LIKES that are LIES (again, nothing malicious, just that nobody has the time to visit our work), I am sticking to making prints and gifting them to people. Making prints and displaying them on my walls. And writing blog posts and creating podcasts and videos that I know people watched–on those platforms, they are seen and the LIKES are real.

An email thanking me for photo galleries of holiday photographs.

I am not against LIKES, they’re a nod to someone appreciating us. It’s just that they aren’t necessarily appreciating our work. And I am a photographer who needs my work seen well, and so I print my work and display it where I can. Or I build online galleries that I personally email to friends. Then when I get a reply back, thanking me for the photographs, I know it’s real, they saw my work.

It’s a true LIKE.

Want to support my shows? You can, just visit this link at Paypal, or go to to add your monthly contribution to keep the lights on!

Check out my YouTube Channel of Photography Talks: my 6×6 Portraits Blog (you’re here) and my Daily Photography Podcast. Thanks!

8 thoughts on “The Problem With Likes (Please Don’t Like This Unless You Read It!)

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  1. Well, sure, but people like things for different reasons. I like “LIKES”. I also like “pinching and zooming”. The preference for “framing” is relative and subjective. Some like “wide angle”, and some like “telephoto”. Let’s not be too rigid about these things. An image is an image. Some may like an image, and some may not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that other people like pinch and zoom, I just don’t. I don’t want my photographs to be that interactive, I want the viewer to take in the full image the way it was presented. There was a documentary about Garry Winogrand and the estate said “You can use his work, but no panning and scanning, no zooming in and out, present the work as-is, full frame.” I like that choice. Thanks, Merlin.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree and understand. That is a reasonable opinion, but I still like scanning, panning, and zooming. Different views of the image are interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked and read all of this. As an occasional blogger myself I know how much effort goes into a post so instinctively take the time to read BEFORE liking – at the end of the day the article may contain views I distinctly dislike so I’m gonna be sure before adding my thumbs up to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this post, but I didn’t click Like. I recently disabled the Like button on my website because I found that I was starting to worry about not getting likes. An uncomfortable feeling. I’ve also stopped, or tried to stop, clicking Like on other websites. If I am impressed by something I make an effort to leave a comment explaining why I liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

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