How much does it matter to us to choose the correct response? And anyway, how likely is it we will get it right in the eyes of the receiver?
Does your choice of emoticon say something about you? Does it reflect your cultural sensitivities, your personal sensibilities. Do you choose based on what others might think, or can you choose with total freedom from consequence or, for you, is it somewhere in between?
You may be quick to hit Like, you may be quick to Love, or Celebrate, or Care. You may not respond at all. You might Love in Insta, and Celebrate in LinkedIn. Have you thought about your choices?
What's interesting to me is that when the world of SM opened and we could feedback to others with instant effect we came to that first moment with our pre SM behavioral norms. Smiley face was first up for me when using MSN Messenger (2003) . It was normal then for us to save our most effusive Love offerings for our closest family and friends so me and my friends played it safe. With time we've adapted as we've crossed over into new platforms with new uses and where we continue to evolve.
I'm a big user of Love but still it seems to Like or to Love is the challenge. After all, we don't wish to be misunderstood, there's risk in that.
At first glance the risks of being misunderstood may be greater in the professional arena than the personal. It's reasonable to assume there's less tolerance of mistakes in the corporate world whereas mistakes made in our personal lives may be more easily forgiven, where those people who love us will make greater allowances for our errors.
I wonder if this remains true now. Especially as we and our work colleagues have learned at least a little about compassion, tolerance, maybe humility. I wonder if we are ready to cut each other a bit more slack when it comes to expressing ourselves more authentically.
Whether or not we've evolved at a societal level to be more accepting of each other, and I hope we have, I believe it's more beneficial to relationships to be more generous with our emotions than less. Even better if we can choose responses which are well matched to the situations. We can do this by refining our emotional language. Think of less intense words such as Like, moving to Preference, Fascination, Love, or at the most intense, Obsession.
If you'd like a structured approach to getting a grip on emotions email me at email@example.com and mention your interest in learning emotional agility.