Like Liking

So I’m about to pack up my computer and head home. So before I do so I want to write about a phenomena I have witnessed many times. I have named this phenomena “like liking”. No, I’m not talking about like likes; the bad guys from Legend of Zelda who eat your shield. We’re talking about people who don’t actually like something, but pretend to like something because they like liking it.

How can this be? Someone either likes something or they don’t. How can someone like to like something they dislike? It’s all very simple. Let us imagine a very rich aristocrat. He dislikes the taste of caviar and fine wine. Or maybe he just isn’t all too crazy about it. However, for the sake of image he becomes a connoisseur of such things. He doesn’t truly like them, but he likes being the type of person who likes those things. He likes to like.

Let’s get some more examples for fun. How about this one guy I see on-line sometimes. He’s one of those crazy Linux zealots who lives in his parents basement and thinks he’s more l33t because he only uses the terminal. Yes, those people are real, numerous and frightening, beware. It has become very obvious to me through a series of self contradictions by this person that he is a like liker. He doesn’t actually like using the terminal more than X or a GUI. He knows in his mind what is a more efficient and fun way to interface with a computer. However, he purposefully keeps his system to a minimum because he likes to be someone who is like that. He likes to like the TTY when he really likes the eye candy GUI.

How about old businessmen who play golf? I bet you 10 bucks half of those guys are dreaming of watching a football game and drinking a beer when they’re out on the golf course. But they want to be someone who likes watching and playing golf. I don’t know about you, but if a boss ever invites me to play golf I’ll either decline honestly or get all Happy Gilmore going on.

So, just for the record I am not implying that all people who like these sorts of things are like likers. Often it is very hard to detect a like liker because unless you know the person well enough you have no reason to believe they don’t like what they say they like. Also for the record, wannabes and posers are not like likers. A poser is someone who pretends to be a certain type of person and fails miserably. A poser would be someone who is like “Yeah, I drive a real fast car! It’s a Civic with this cool body kit and stuff.” Meanwhile their body kit is a non-matching aerodynamic monstrosity that cost too much and slows them down. Also they have phony disc brakes with drum brakes behind them. In a way, a poser is better than a like liker because they actually sometimes truly like the thing. They just don’t know about it and are pretending to be much better than they are. Like likers often actually know about the thing they pretend to like. They just don’t like it.

So why am I wasting a blog post to talk about like likers? Well for one, I have encountered many over the years, and wanted to give people who haven’t recognized them a fair warning. Second I think maybe some like likers could benefit a lot from recognizing their own like likeness. By being honest with others and themselves about their personal preferences they can lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Sometimes like likers eventually grow to like the thing they only previously liked liking. I think this is the ultimate goal of like likers, but it can often be very dangerous for them to reach that goal. I’ve seen at least one case where I’m pretty sure a like liker forced themselves so far that their subconscious brain finally rejected them and they exploded all at once.

So in conclusion, be true to your feelings. Like and don’t like what you like and don’t like. Ignore image, stop caring what other people think about you. You will be much happier by being honest, trust me. I don’t like liking all the geeky stuff I do. I like it for real. And my extreme honesty makes me very dangerous and happy.

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