It’s official: Nobody likes bad news.
It has come to my attention that there is a great degree of uncertainty over whether or not to ‘Like’ a bad-news post on Facebook. Having been on the site for more than half a decade and having worked at the company for a few short months, I have often heard people say “I wish Facebook had a button to “Like, even though this is terrible news” or something to that effect.
I have noticed very distinct patterns in the ‘Likes’ on my blog. The posts with the lowest amount of ‘Likes’ are the ones about fertility, genes and difficult ‘women’s’ choices or issues and, funnily enough, these posts usually only get ‘Likes’ from other women. The ones with the most ‘Likes’ are the positive posts, such as 10 Things I Like About Cancer and All Caked Up and Cancer Free.
When I wrote about not being able to have chemotherapy on Tuesday because my body wasn’t ready for it, only six people liked the post. But the next day, when I posted this picture of my cat’s attempt to hijack the blog, it got more than 45 likes! (Molly is still purring with delight about her newfound internet popularity).
As my friend Helen commented the other day on a post about me losing my hair, it sometimes feels a bit strange to ‘Like’ a post when you don’t actually ‘like’ what is being described. I told Helen that I took her ‘like’ as a message of support, not as a taunting “haha, you’ve got cancer, I’m going to like this post because I’m happy your hair is falling out”.
It’s like when someone posts an RIP note on Facebook, with a photo of their dead dog or grandmother. The same thoughts go through your head: “If I ‘Like’ this post, will my friend think I’m happy his dog is dead?” The answer is no. I can’t speak for Mark Zuckerberg, but my interpretation of the ‘Like’ button is that it’s there to register your approval. It could mean “I like this post,” “I find this funny,” “I sympathise with you” or “I support you”. Or pretty much anything else positive you can think of.
So, if you ever find yourself thinking “If I like this post, will she think I’m glad she has cancer?” don’t worry. I will always see your ‘Likes’ as a message of support. (Unless, of course, you write a nasty comment underneath.)
Since my chemotherapy session was postponed, I have been resting at home this week, trying to keep my strengths up and stay infection-free for next Tuesday. I’ve just received this delivery of three giant bags of Coconut m&ms, as promised from my Mars-employee cousin Damian when I was recovering from surgery a month ago. (Fingers in shot to illustrate scale).
Fortunately, Mum is always on hand with healthy foods to offset all the sugary ones, and she experimented the other day with the ice-lolly maker I received from my brother and sister in law. Chemotherapy makes you change your tastes and you often crave ice-cold drinks and food, and strangely, when I returned from the hospital the other day having not had chemo, I wanted nothing more than a cold smoothie or ice lolly. Mum, ever-prepared as she is, had already planned to make ice lollies for me that day, and promptly produced this fresh one made of nothing but fruit. In this day and age of sugar-filled Calypsos, who would have thought a simple, healthy concoction of just fresh strawberries, raspberries, honey and lemon would taste so good? I think the homemade lolly trend could catch on.