Women across the globe are right now updating their Facebook statuses with where they like it. And the first thing that immediately comes to people’s mind is that the “it” must be “sex”.
“I like it on the floor,” “I like it on the couch,” “I like it on my desk”, “I like it on the counter”, “I like it on Facebook”, “I like it on the bed”… you may have seen a lot of these Facebook status updates today.
But what is the “it”?
“It” is for “purse.” The Washington Post’s Melissa Bell explains:
Women are posting where they like to keep their purses when they come home, but they conveniently leave out the word “purse.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the “I like it on” trend is an attempt for women to unite around that cause in a top secret way. The idea is literally to leave men in the dark.
This isn’t the first time a Facebook status update has gone viral. Last year the ladies of Facebook wrote the color of their bra – and nothing else – as their Facebook statuses. The random rumblings of “red,” “hot pink” or “electric blue lace” had men (and plenty of women) scratching their heads and wondering why ladies are putting a color in their Facebook status. The bra color Facebook status update went viral, also in support of raising breast cancer awareness.
This time around women finishing this sentence: “I like it on the …” People are, as you’d expect, assuming this means where women like to have sex. In reality, they’re telling you where they set their handbag when they have to put it down.
But it’s not a natural phenomenon — it’s to raise awareness for serious illness. Whatever it is, it’s in lieu of actual fundraising. This makes sense: The domain of the social web is that things happen in lieu of anything actually happening.
This gives more validity to Malcolm Gladwell’s rant against social networking in the New Yorker last week.
Gladwell claims social networking increases participation by lowering the motivation that is required to effectively participate in anything. So instead of volunteering or giving money to, say, breast cancer awareness, you put a vaguely sexual remark in your status update, thereby participating in the cause with the minimal amount of effort.
This whole “linking” phenomenon is also paradoxical.
Gizmodo recently published a photo of the disgusting pink goop that eventually becomes chicken patties and nuggets. Almost 100,000 people have “liked” it. So we like the photo of the slop we eat? Or do we like “liking” something disgusting to be ironic? Who knows. Maybe we just like having the ability to like something on Facebook. Whatever it is, it definitely strengthens Gladwell’s “weak ties” argument.
If social networking has proved anything it’s that even in solitude in front of our computers we say we like something even though we really don’t.