Ms Rose, my cranky second grade teacher insisted we bring Saint Valentine cards for each member of our class -- even Gregory Peas, the neighborhood bully. Co-mingled In the box of I Love Yous and Be Mines were a few platonic VD cards with matching envelopes. Why do the kid card making companies have so much Love in the box of options rather than Like offerings?
It was a risk turning away from the doily and glitter safety net where I could write a simple Happy Valentines Day, From K. I would have painstakingly glued and wrote and filled a garbage can up of the cast offs since I failed handwriting glass and still haven't learned how to handle the Elmer's without making a colossal sticky mess. I opted for the box of devotional notes noting the risk of having to send several dreamy messages out to folks I either had a crush on and didn't really want them to know or even worse, send a lovey message to someone like GP. Yes, the Valentine's conundrum nearly inspired a pretend sick day. I didn't want to miss out of the cupcakes and the curiosity of who possibly Liked me. Please let it be Jay G from the cul-de-sac. Off to school I went with my box of love and like tucked into a decorated shoe box so I could collect my likes and loves too.
Today my friend Lennie said, KK you must think about asking people to Like you, your blogs, vignettes, articles, photos. If you want to LIFT more people you need to be Liked more, she says. Uh, OK how do I do that? We are meeting on this next Tuesday afternoon. An appointment to teach me the new trade we conduct in this era of Social Media. The exchange, the give and take of our new Virtual friendships. The "I like you so you like me" dance. I have few tools in my kit for this sort of Popularity contest. It's intimidating to me really. I get it that I must step up my Like Me game for my business, for my purposeful meaningful work to be more exposed. This is how we reach out to our people and their people. I have been instructed on how to post words and photos and I do know how to Like and Friend strangers. I am not that Dark Aged. I do though admit, whole heartedly, to slipping into my Late Bloomer label that was slapped on my forehead in High School with the haven't had my period yet and I am 16 and 3/4 to the didn't get asked to the Prom (unless you count the feeble ask by my neighbor on Emerald Dr, Brian C., who I am certain my brother tossed a 10 er at to help encourage the invite I declined) or to most parties, always on the left side of cool. I am behind once again and I know it.
I am worried that I will worry about not being popular and knowing that I am not Liked. I am worried that I will be popular and I will feel overwhelmed with so many new folks. I worry that I will feel insecure one way or another. I prefer not knowing that people are deciding with a forefinger, hmmmm Yes I like her, her words and her world. To Be Liked or Not to Be, that is the question now isn't? Is not knowing what I don't know better? Isn't the Valentine surprise of a real Like more meaningful and juicy than asking to be liked? Is this constant public declaration diluting our hearts desire for warmth and true kinship? Or just maybe, it is actually opening our hearts up more to others, with this unique version of interacting and declaring. The power our forefinger print has to bring us together with others and like them.
I will have my Lesson is how to Be Liked and do my best to keep a balance of my virtual Friends and my reality Friends. I am feeling a bit nervous and already exposed, so this is good. Growth is good. And new connections via SM can become real ones too.
After I started taking notes down for writing this vignette on this topic of Please Like Me, I paused and sent Lennie a note:
Thank you for Liking me, Len. I like you too.
A private declaration that I am now making public.
Here's to mixing the metaphors of Like.