There is this verb that we see all over the Internet. It can be found on almost every web page that integrates one of the most popular social networking portals’ buttons for sharing and showing appreciation for content. This well-known acquaintance of ours is “like”.

Even though “like” is not the word one would traditionally use in the English language to express how much one appreciates something. Rather, by saying that we “like” something, we expresses how something pleases us, or to express that we prefer one thing over another. To “like” can be used to express of attraction to something or someone as well. However, a new way of interpreting what one means when expression one’s “liking” of something originated on the Internet and expresses one’s support or approval. Lately, to “like” something is also interpreted as to “vote” for something.

Personally, I find it difficult to fully engage in social networks, partially because of the way my mind treats the meaning of “liking” something. When I see a witty post, or an amusing image on a social network feed or a website which features a “like” button, I never click the “like” button. This is because, in my head, “liking” something translates to an equivalent (“dopadati/sviđati se”) in my native language, which is something that I would say in regards to the way I feel about another person. For example, I can “like” a girl or “like” the way someone dresses, but I wouldn’t say that I “like” a few sentences posted on a website and I wouldn’t say that I “like” an image of a talking cat, even if its remarks are humorous.

Instead of “like”, I would feel more comfortable with a word like “appreciate”, “approve” or “fancy”. Expressing appreciation by saying that one appreciates it is pretty normal and is straight forward. Even to say that one “approves” of something stands as proper in my opinion. However, those two words are very “pain” and the Internet is a place for things that are not just “plain” and “straight forward”, so an alternative that sounds “different” or even classy (perhaps to someone) would do better. To “fancy” something isn’t as intimate as “liking” someone, at least not in my mind and it is not a “plain” and “obvious” like “appreciate” and “approve of”, which would be considered as dull or boring.

So, why not? Why not say that you “fancy” an image of a cat with witty remarks about human behaviour, or to say that you “fancy” a good song or video, or that you “fancy” an amusing post or an entertaining story on the Web?

Honestly, I know that it is somewhat selfish to expect or propose that the Internet adopts a word for showing appreciation which I feel comfortable using. And, I do not expect “like” to be abandoned anytime soon or ever. But, I just wanted to speak my mind and, hopefully, someone will feel the same way as I about using proper words with adequate meanings for actions on the Web.