Tag Archives: like

Why Like a post on Facebook and/ or Favourite a Tweet?




Like a lot of people in the world nowadays, I have been hooked on Facebook and Twitter for many years. I can catch up on the news on these sites much quicker than on the radio, newspapers and TV, and I can do it on the fly. Social Networking Sites (SNS) have given us a platform for communicating with one another, keeping tabs on celebrities, sports and current events, whilst allowing us to voice our opinions about anything and everything. Facebook also allows us to post a ‘status’- a group of words that may describe what we are doing (have done or will do), what our moods are like, what we are eating, and basically anything that we want to write. Facebook also allows us to post pictures, inform our ‘friends’ about our current location and ‘tag’ people who are with us or wish that are with us at any particular time. Twitter functions in a similar way, in which it allows us to connect with people, ‘tweet’ a picture and/ or a statement (limited to 180 characters) much like a Facebook status. Both Facebook and Twitter allow us to share (or Retweet on Twitter) anything that another person has posted. We can also ‘reply’ or ‘comment’ on their statuses and/ or tweets if we like, and start a discussion about any topics.

What grabbed my curiousity though is the ‘Like’ button in Facebook and the ‘Favourite’ button on Twitter. One may assume that this is to alert the person that posted a Tweet/photo/status/location/etc. that you ‘like’ their post or their tweets are one of your ‘favourites’. But is that all there is to it? Why else would such functions exist? Let me take a few guesses.

  1. To Save Time– I often ask myself, ‘Why can’t we just reply or comment that we ‘like’ what they have posted?’ Facebook and Twitter might have assumed that we are all incredibly busy and that we don’t have any time to type that clicking on a button should be enough. In addition, SNS bosses might have assumed that we don’t have time to read people’s comments about how much they liked our posts, and therefore notifications of how many ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ our posts have should be enough.
  2. It Feels Good to be Liked– The words ‘like’ and ‘favourite’ are positive words that denote approval from other people. Knowing that somebody ‘liked’ or ‘favourited’ your post shows that people not only took notice of your post and read it, but they also took a few seconds of their precious time to click a button (they must really approve of what you posted, right?).
  3. Popularity– Having so many people ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ your post could mean that you are gaining popularity. However, arriving at this conclusion may lead to disappointment as it is not always the case.

I am still puzzled everytime somebody ‘likes’ or ‘favourites’ my posts on Facebook or Twitter mainly because there are many different reasons why people click these buttons. Although I must admit that I do not ponder on every single ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ that I receive, but whenever I post something that is very close to my heart (for instance, Autism, Special Education and Psychology), I querry on the reason why a person clicked ‘like’ or ‘favourite’. On the flip-side, I am also careful whenever I click these buttons as I don’t want to send the wrong signal.

I urge you to think carefully before clicking ‘like’ and ‘favourite’. Here’s why :

  1. Ambiguity – As I’ve said, the act of clicking these buttons mean differently to people. They may truly agree with what you have said, they might have ‘favourited’ your tweet to remind them that they need to come back and read it later, or they may simply have ‘liked’ or ‘favourited’ your post to politely say that ‘I have seen your post, but I don’t really like it‘.
  2. A ‘like’/ ‘favourite’ is not the same as approval- I know that this goes against the definitions of the words (and against number 3 on this list) but as mentioned, they mean differently to people.
  3. It does not improve the integrity of your statement- Having a popular oppinion does not mean that what you have said/ done is right. However, some people may hold this idea and therefore, we should be careful before we ‘like’ or ‘favourite’ a stupid/ offensive post.
  4. Your name will be associated with the post– This is probably the most important thing to consider before pressing these buttons. Whether you are ‘liking’ or ‘favouriting’ a joke, a political/ philosophical statement,  an expression of emotion or anything at all, be aware that your name will be associated with it and everyone will see it. We all know a news story or two about people who have lost their jobs and/ or loved ones because of SNS activities. ‘Liking’ or ‘Favouriting’ something may not be the same as actually posting it, but it shows that you approve of the post.






Why is this song in my head and how do I get rid of it?!

carly rae jespen

Whether it’s Carly Rae Jespen’s Call Me Maybe, Nickelback’s How You Remind Me, or Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger, we all had a song or two that has been stuck in our heads for a while and we don’t quite know why. Such an experience is called ‘Earworm’, a term which is a direct translation of the German word ‘Ohrwurm’.It  has been found  that around 90% of the population have had such an experience at least once a week. Earworms have been found to last between a few minutes to a couple of hours (Beaman & Williams, 2010). Although it is a common experience, around 15% of people claimed that Earworms are ‘disturbing’ and ‘unpleasant’ (Liikkanen, 2008).


Although there isn’t a definitive theory which can explain why how songs get stuck in our heads, there have been a few suggestions:

  1. Exposure: Some have proposed that songs/tunes are more memorable than others because we’ve listened to them a lot of times. However, a research by Victoria Williamson and her colleagues (Williamson et al., 2011) found that listening to a song is not a necessary pre-requisite for a song ‘worm-into’ our brains. Their findings suggest that being exposed to a stimuli which are (sometimes vaguely) related to a song can induce an Earworm. For instance, reading a number plate with the letters CMM can lead to remembering Call Me Maybe.
  2. Memories: Being in the same place where you’ve heard a song can be enough to trigger an experience.
  3. Mood: Williamson et al.’s findings also suggest that being in the same mood as you were when you first heard a song can also trigger Earworms.
  4. Boredom: The same study have also found that in some cases, Earworms begun when people were bored or in a ‘low-attention state’.



Now that we know the possible reasons why an Earworm manifests, we must know of any strategies of stopping it. In a research conducted by Hyman et al. (2012), participants were asked to listen to a variety of songs, from those of the Beatles to current ones like Lady Gaga’s. They then completed a number of different puzzles, with varying difficulties. After these, they were asked to report whether there are any songs that are playing on their heads (and did so again after 24 hours). They found that puzzles which are too easy and too difficult induced the most number of Earworms. The researchers suggested that:

  1. Earworms are manifestations of Zeigarnik Effect, i.e. we only cease to remember things/tasks when they are completed. In other words, a tune lingers in our heads because only a certain part (and not the whole of it) plays in our head. Hence, if we want it to stop, we need to consciously ‘play’ the whole of it.
  2. Also, after we’ve listened to a piece of music, we need to perform an activity that will keep our minds and/or bodies occupied. However, we need to consciously avoid tasks that are too easy or too difficult for us.





Beaman CP, & Williams TI (2010). Earworms (‘stuck song syndrome’): Towards a natural history of intrusive thoughts.British Journal of Psychology, 101(4), 637-653.

Hyman, I., Burland, N., Duskin, H., Cook, M., Roy, C., McGrath, J., and Roundhill, R. (2012). Going Gaga: Investigating, Creating, and Manipulating the Song Stuck in My Head. Applied Cognitive Psychology DOI:10.1002/acp.2897

Liikkanen L.A. (2008) Music in everymind: Commonality of involuntary musical imagery. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition. Sapporo, Japan.

Williamson, V., Jilka, S., Fry, J., Finkel, S., Mullensiefen, D., and Stewart, L. (2011). How do “earworms” start? Classifying the everyday circumstances of Involuntary Musical ImageryPsychology of Music DOI: 10.1177/0305735611418553

Documentary about Tourette’s Syndrome

I just want to share this brilliant documentary about Tourette’s Syndrome, called ‘Tourette’s Uncovered’. I don’t know much about Tourette’s Syndrome and these videos showed me what it’s like to have the condition. The documentary is enlightening and educational.

These youtube videos are uploaded by M111771. Enjoy: