We Become Like What We “Like”

By Dickson Tumuramye

‘You definitely know X!’ My colleague pushed hard in a bid to help me recall a person he expected me to know. On insisting that no matter how hard he tried I simply could not picture the person he was talking about, the description turned to the person’s likes. Quite often than not, I have heard people describe others by what they like or subscribe to. You probably have encountered lines like….so and so who likes African print, singing etc.

We live in an age where people like even the ‘unlikable.’ I am always left perturbed for example by the ‘likes’ that outnumber comments on death announcements posted by social media users. Have you ever cared about the things you like? Our tastes and preferences speak volumes about who we are. In a university setting, where probably young adults come to experience the first phase of ‘freedom’ our likes need to be tamed. There is no one better positioned to watch over this than the individual.

Likes form patterns of life. Every pattern of life comes with a price – different likes carry different price tags. I have painfully observed untamed likes end up shattering lives. Imagine someone who likes partying – and I am in no way insinuating that making merry is bad! I am only saying that when you like partying to the point where merrymaking takes priority in your life is not a good signal. Our likes of course are a major determinant of who gets into our inner circles. Like the adage goes, tell me your friends and I tell you who you are, tell me your likes and I will tell you who you are and who is in your circles!

Taking stock of one’s likes is a good start for self-reflection. Some likes manifest as harmless in a subtle manner. 

‘I just like to know what is trending. Knowing who is following me just feels nice’ you will hear those tending to social media addiction innocently saying.

Probably you have never thought about what your likes mean to your personality- they mean everything. Being at university presents an opportunity for one to engage in critical thinking and engage logic in their life choices. Challenge yourself not to like things for the sake of it. Everything that defines you says a lot of unspoken things about you.  You are unknowingly becoming what you like – watch your likes. Likes have no age limit, whether young or old, we need to be mindful of what we nurture as likes. 

Which ‘likes’ define you?

The writer is a child advocate, parenting coach, marriage counselor and founder – Men of Purpose mentorship programme.