I may or may not like your Facebook status

Jun 22, 2011 at 5:00 am

Please be advised that my failure to click “Like” regarding your Facebook status in no way implies that I do or do not like your status. Further, please note that no technology provided by Facebook now or in the future shall be deemed to exclusively communicate my emotional approval or disapproval of your status, photo, video, comment, link, event, game mastery, drunk-post, braggadocio, verbal smackdown or public display of affection.

In the absence of my “Like” click, you may conclude one or more of the following conditions regarding my opinion of your Facebook status:

1) I have not seen your status and therefore have no opinion about it. It’s possible I was away from Facebook or your status flashed by in a flurry of posts involving Rihanna, hot yoga or the political dissent of Noam Chomsky, and therefore your status escaped my scrutiny entirely. It is further possible that I have hidden your posts and you are therefore dead to me. If this has happened, it is because you have established a history of posts that were offensive, boring, too numerous, too Jesus-y or otherwise involved Farmville, extreme right-wing politics, the cult of Apple Inc., or the television programs “American Idol,” “Dr. Who,” “Glee” or “True Blood.” Please refer to subsection (g), which details what may or may not be inferred from my clicking Facebook’s “Hide” link pursuant to your status updates. If you wish to present a past status to me for further consideration, please complete Form 27b, which is available on my blog (but note I cannot guarantee this action will result in a “Like” or, to be frank, more than a furtive eye roll).

2) I like your status but not enough to click the “Like” link. Your status is fine, but it’s not point-and-click fine.

3) I like your status, but clicking the “Like” link might inform certain other “friends” that I am currently on Facebook, which I would prefer not to announce. (Please see subsection (j), which details my social-networking introversion and/or subsection (n) as it relates to the Federal Witness Protection Program.)

4) I like your status, but clicking the “Like” link might inflame others who disagree strongly, which could ignite a Facebook shit show. (Corollary (a): I’m friends with your ex and can’t get in the middle. This also explains why nobody but your new lover and (maybe) your mom will “Like” your status for the foreseeable future.)

5) I like your status, but clicking the “Like” link might imply that we are actual friends as opposed to Facebook friends. I’d hate to click “Like” and then have you pop over for coffee. I’m just trying to save us both some embarrassment here.

6) I like your status, but it includes one or more misspellings. Note that misspelling “its” or “they’re” is an automatic deal-breaker, no matter how awesome your status.

7) I am indifferent to your status. Your status does not appeal to me but is also not worthy of active dislike. It is basically the Facebook version of Southern rock, Bud Light Lime or the 2011 efficacy of the word “meh.”

8) I find your status a direct insult to my intelligence and to the intelligence of anyone who’s achieved more than a fifth grade education. (Hint: Does your status involve emoticons, anything regarding the lunch menu at Panera or an expression of joy concerning any object that could be described using the prefix “i-” or the suffix “-bong”?)

9) I dislike your status very much indeed and hope to erase it from my memory as soon as humanly possible. (Please refer to my petition to Facebook Inc. to make available a new “Stabbing My Eyes With An Ice Pick” link to properly convey my sentiments about status updates like yours. Please also check my Info page for regular updates regarding Facebook’s restraining order relative to this petition.)

Please note that the above clarifications are intended to convey some of the possible scenarios regarding my willingness to click “Like” as it pertains to your Facebook status. As new “Like”-related scenarios become pertinent, I will update accordingly.

If you are not active on Facebook and seek info on the rules of my communication regarding other platforms, please refer to my publications “What I Retweet,” “I May or May Not Reply to Your Email” and “I Probably Didn’t Get Your Fax.”