Sometimes I run into the odd profile query in corners of the internet, as though it was 2004 and Myspace was still a thing. And often these queries have a space for “likes”, as in “things you like”, not a quantity on YouTube.
Because I’m lazy, and because most of them are pointless wastes of time, I usually put something along the lines of “I like things that aren’t bullshit”. And that’s true; I like things created with sincerity, I loathe politics and advertising, and I can smell fake from a mile away. But the reason I put down what’s almost an obvious cop-out is that it feels worse to put down anything else.
First, the compulsive part of me can’t decide what to put down. I like multitudes of things, and “things” is a fucking broad category. Are we talking popular entertainment? Fine arts? My favorite types of things? What about all the things that wouldn’t necessarily come to mind, but were they missing, everything else would be moot; like electrical grids and international trade? How deep does this rabbit hole go?
Second, how do I qualify this list within changing moods in the short term and changing tastes over a lifetime? Because obviously there’s only so many characters-worth of space, and I’ve got laundry to do also, so clearly this has to be pared down to “the things I like most”. So an hour ago I was consuming this webcomic like a starving man at a buffet, and at that moment it was the best thing every created by a person and I wanted to tattoo the characters on my face. But then I got tired of it, and 20 minute’s perspective has proven that I’m easily distracted.
Third, what are peole looking for in this answer? Who gives a shit? I don’t read these things. Should I be clever in the hopes that someone else with apprectiate it and contact me so we can be clever together? Is there a secret combination of “things one likes” that will point me out as a prophesized savior/super pilot in an alien culture waging a desperate battle to survive? Or maybe there’s just a monetary prize for liking a particular thing? What if someone sends me hate mail because I like Billy Joel, but only ’70s Billy Joel?
So mostly in order to cover the bases honestly while leaving room to provide, if asked, more specific answers, “I like things that aren’t bullshit”.