by Sarah Barber
The term "like" can function as almost any part of speech. It can be a noun, a verb, a conjunction, an adjective, or even a preposition, and it's so commonly used in the English language that I'm certain I don't need to tell you what it means. But thanks to the ever-popular social networking site Facebook, "like" has taken on a life of its own. Those of you who are familiar with Facebook know what I'm talking about. Those of you who aren't need to join the rest of us 400 million users in spending an average of six hours and 28 minutes each month on the fourth-most-visited website in the United States (thank you Nielsen Co. for that statistic).
Just when I thought "like" had maxed out its functional capacity, I learned from today's Wall Street Journal that Facebook, Inc. is spreading its tentacles more pervasively than ever across the Internet by allowing other websites to install a "like" button that users can click to indicate their preference for said website. Then, the user's approval appears on his or her Facebook page with a link back to that site. With web traffic being driven in both directions, everybody wins. Thus, Facebook is no longer just about who knows whom, but also about who "likes" what. And with that, we better define our personal bull's-eyes for marketers, stalkers and identity thieves on the Internet.
I don't think I "like" that.