Please Don’t Like This!
A collaborative project with Jonah Brucker-Cohen
What does it mean when we click “like”, and what leads us to click or not click? Please Don’t Like This is an experiment in how individuals and groups perceive and act on social media voting. The project tests your will power (or lack thereof) to avoid clicking the “Like” button even when directed to do so. It further tests your self-control by showing you a constantly updating count of those who failed the test before you. Can you resist clicking “Like” when told how many failed before you? Are you influenced by the pulsating “Like” or the large metric count?
The “Like” button has become a primary mode of communication, indicating preference, presence, and/or agreement. The number of “Likes” we receive affects how we are perceived in our social circles and how others view us and value our friendships. It has also become a form of social currency that ranks and quantifies us among our peers. The more “Likes” people receive on their posts the more social capital they hold, thus raising their profile and visibility around the Internet. But what does a “Like” really mean, and how much of a click is voluntary vs. automatic?
Can you resist? I’d be interested in hearing about why/why not.
- Hooked, Science Gallery London, 2018
- Hooked, Science Gallery Melbourne, 2021 (upcoming)