‘1 million likes’ | Inquirer News

‘1 million likes’

/ 06:25 AM February 02, 2013

It’s surprising to see every now and then what new trends the Internet can set. Recently, we saw the cute and irresistible wish of children who got 2.6 million Likes on FaceBook when their father, Ryan Cordell, agreed to buy them a puppy if they got 1 million Likes on the social network.

Faced with this challenge the kids digitally armed themselves by creating an FB account “Twogirlsandapuppy.” The page hosted a message saying: “Hi World. We want a puppy! Our dad said we could get one if we get 1 million likes! So ‘Like’ this! He doesn’t think we can do it!” Seven hours later, their dad conceded defeat and got them a puppy!


Coincidentally, their endearing and amusing initiative that went viral over cyberspace linked with their father’s research. Ryan, a Northeastern professor, and his team are studying reprinted text in 19th-century newspapers to see what makes people ‘share’ or ‘like’ certain words or events.

The reasons for making us ‘like’ things, often based on socio-cultural values and traditions, may not have changed through the years. The only difference now is that the Internet offers global accessibility, ease of response and speed to surf for our likes. What perhaps would have taken weeks or even months to accomplish through printed medium, only lasted a few hours to reward his kids with a puppy.


Unfortunately, this innocent and sincere attempt to win the ‘world’s approval’ for a pet was followed by similar but less edifying petitions. For example, the hoax by a Norwegian high school couple requesting a million Likes to usher them into pre-marital relations. There are others that have yet to be verified such naming a baby MEGATRON if one Million people ‘liked’ it and another asking for ‘likes’ to convince his father to quit smoking.

There’s no telling how far this Liking trend will reach and what consequences it will have. Even though some of the things posted are not really substantial, a social network like FaceBook and many others, can gradually shape how people make choices.

This also means that unlike before, the weight of a ‘million’ likes can circumstantially –that is, a million people are somehow indirectly involved– influence a person’s decision to do either for something good or bad. Thus, all those involved ‘share’ in either the good or bad effects of the person’s choice.

And since more and more people –especially the youth– are using the Internet, their ideas, judgments and choices will be influenced by and often based on this rapid flux of information that gives little space for reflection.

Inasmuch as this is a growing trend, no one million Likes or more can make something good bad or vice versa. Something good will always be virtuous and something bad will always be vicious. The former will always contribute to the person’s goodness and perfection, while the latter deforms him and eventually may not allow him to reach his true end.

Moreover, a million Likes can never deprive someone of his freedom to choose or decide on something. Certainly, factors such as fear and ignorance can limit human freedom, but they can never be totally deprive man of this gift. Man’s dignity and purpose, and society as well, would be abolished if objective moral standards were to be placed at the mercy of trivial and relativistic clicks of a million digital Likes.

In the end, what is essential is making decisions and aligning our actions to only one Like: what God expects of us, His will. This one like of God is the most important and fruitful decision to embrace, even though a million or more likes may state the contrary.


The saints are models of this faithful response to God’s will. They were often heard to express strongly their identification with God’s like by saying: “So much do I love your will, my God, that heaven itself, without your will –if such an absurdity could be– I would not accept.” (St. Josemaría, The Way, no. 765) We are all called to follow this same path the saints have trodden. This is the road where our wills identify to that one Will.

Against the virtual and superficial waves of trends in cyberspace, there is the witness of millions of men and women who silently live virtue constantly and heroically. There are mothers quietly overcoming tiredness in preparing their family’s daily meals cheerfully, young professionals heaped with work and still manage a smile for their colleagues and find time to help them in menial tasks, student who correct themselves against the temptation to cheat in their exams, and a million invisible daily acts of love and sacrifices trustingly responding to only one like from God’s loving heart.

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