@walter @jack I’m definitely sympathetic to the issue of wanting to show appreciation (and, since last summer, I have always kept @vasta’s Beacons of virtual proximity in the back of my mind when thinking about these sorts of things). Part of the problem for me, though, is similar to what @adamprocter described, all of the wondering (why Bob “Liked” my post X and Dave did not, or why no-one “Liked” my post Y—it only takes one. freaking. second., after all!), and they end up being “beacons of virtual forgottenness” instead—whereas for others they feed the rat brain, and so forth. IMO, private likes don’t solve any of those issues.
On the other hand, by not having a dead-simple, absolutely-fricitionless way of “Liking”, I’m still in a grey area of wonder, but it’s a “happier” one for me—maybe they didn’t see my post at all, maybe they had no time to reply, or maybe it just didn’t speak to them at all. It’s a better ambiguity, for me. (And the flip side, having “Likes”—or a “Like”-like thing—then makes me feel compelled by social custom/politeness to either “Like” everything I like—or to reply, but let’s face it, if I’m under the societal obligation to “Like” everything I like/appreciate, even with a completely frictionless “Like” mechanism, it’s going to take too much time to do that, leaving no time for real replies.) It’s a double-bladed sword that cuts me with both blades, no matter how I look at it. Again, that’s just me (and that’s why I’m so sensitive to the issue); I know others are immune to these pressures and worries. But the lack of this boulder of convention, politeness, and compulsion crushing me is one of the reasons I have found Micro.blog so enjoyable and been able to stay on the platform.
I’m also very sympathetic to your points about flooding the Timeline with short replies of appreciation, which I hadn’t thought about so much (but of which I’m definitely guilty). To pull a little Tuesday Whipper-snappering, I wonder if a “compromise” solution that solves the problem of “wanting to show appreciation without flooding the Timeline” is not a “Like“-adjacent thing but rather a Timeline setting that filters out replies with fewer than, say, 5 “words” or 30 characters (mindful of i18n—language and writing system variety)? Similarly, maybe a toggle in/for Mentions so that you can keep Mentions to replies likely to be “let’s have a conversation about what you’ve posted”? Dunno.
Once again, this has been a constructive conversation that’s raised some issues and points I hadn’t thought about before—even if we’re not changing minds, it seems like we’re able to see things from others’ perspectives 👍