I Heart You

Hi SGPR readers! It’s Heather here, a second year student from Manchester Metropolitan University, studying Public Relations and Marketing. I moved to Manchester in September last year after I decided it was time for me to leave the small Yorkshire village, to study in a big, bad and busy city, celebrated for its unique attractions and individuality. Hello North West England!

Every Wednesday, I will be joining the Smoking Gun team, helping out with projects whilst gaining a real insight into agency life.  

I will be bringing you ingenious digital trends that I have spotted in the news and will be keeping a savvy eye on any social media updates. Stay tuned.

I Heart You

Twitter this week invited us to say things from the heart, by changing their ‘Favourite’ star icon to heart ‘Likes’, in a hope to make Twitter more universal and easier for new users. Fair enough. Twitter claims that the heart enables users to be more expressive, as we may ‘like’ a lot of things, but not everything can be our ‘favourite’ thing. Seems simple right? 

One thing people definitely didn’t seem to like however, was the new update. Users across the world have expressed their outrage at the red little #TwitterHeart, voicing their strong opinions on the difference between ‘liking’ and ‘favouriting’. They claim ‘favouriting’ is used to express amusement, agreement or as a polite way of not replying, whereas hearts are associated with love, great passion and genuine interest. Can you really be that passionate in 140 characters?

Let’s look at the dictionary definitions of the term ‘like’ and ‘favourite’ to understand the real difference between the two, or see if people are just making an issue out of nothing.

  • ‘Like’: is defined as something that you “find agreeable, enjoyably or satisfactory???, with synonyms of fondness and favour. 
  • ‘Favourite’: is a “person or a thing that is preferred to all others of the same kind, or is especially well liked???

Arguably Twitter has a point; favouriting something would imply that you like something more than something else, which isn’t always the case when favouriting a tweet. But the real question is, do people really care that much? 

I would class myself as a social savvy 19-year-old with a keen interest in the majority of social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. I use social media to share pretty much everything about my life. Whether that’s something I will change in the future, who knows. Sometimes the feeling of scrolling my newsfeed and comparing myself to others, or deleting pictures and posts if they don’t receive any likes or comments can become consuming. So for me, the Twitter update makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.Twitter was always the social network where the amount of ‘likes’ received didn’t limit what I posted as it wasn’t applicable. Will I now be waiting for the equivalent of that precious 11th like on Instagram for my tweet to be worthy? I really hope not. Could this slowly turn my generation away from the platform? Perhaps.  

It has also been in the news this week that an 18-year-old model has quit social media as she believes it was preventing her from living a normal life. She believed that the likes and followers she was receiving directly correlated to her popularity and beauty. She decided to use her then Instagram account to share the reality of what lies behind a ‘perfect’ picture on social media, in order to inform her followers that social media is not a true representative of real life. 

But surely we already know this?  ‘Likes’ in every day life are not real life. Imagine walking down the street and feeling good about yourself based on how many people come up to you and tell you they like your hair, clothes or the things that you say, it would be weird, and not desirable.

So think about that when you you’re liking this blog post!