Likes, Comments, and Sharing

Learn about online social engagement in the form of likes, comments, and shares in this free lesson.

Introduction

Image of social plug-in buttonsSocial Plug-Ins

One of the great things about the Internet today is that anyone can join the conversation. Instead of just reading webpages, you can engage and share things you find with your friends.

Whether you're reading a news article, watching a YouTube video, or shopping for a great deal, there's a good chance you'll be able to add a comment or use a social plug-in to post it to your social networks.

Leaving feedback with social plug-ins

If you're viewing something online, you may notice buttons with the Facebook or Twitter logos. These are called social plug-ins, and they're designed to let you give feedback on a webpage. When you Like, recommend, or tweet a website, a link to that page will be posted on your profile, allowing you to share that site with all of your friends at the same time.

Image of common social plug-insCommon Social Plug-ins

While Facebook and Twitter tend to be the most common social plug-ins, there are many others you can use. There is often a "Share" button you can click to see more options. Depending on the website, you may be able to share content in the following ways:

You can even Like, tweet, or +1 lessons on GCFLearnFree.org! These buttons are located near the top of each lesson page.

Sharing and comments

Screenshot of a blog commentA comment on a blog

People use comments to give feedback, ask questions, or simply continue the conversation. Comments sections often appear at the bottom of a page or article. Not all webpages have comments, but they're especially common on blogs, news sites, video sites like YouTube, and image hosting sites like Flickr.

When viewing or posting comments, be aware that some people intentionally try to start arguments (often called flame wars) by posting outrageous or offensive comments. These people are known as trolls or cyberbullies. While it may be tempting to respond to these comments, it's usually best to ignore them.

For more tips on communicating safely online, check out our Social Media Privacy Basics lesson from our Internet Safety tutorial.

Pros and cons of comments and plug-ins

Wondering if you should start adding comments and using social plug-ins? Review some of the pros and cons to help decide:

Pros:

  • Interacting with the things you see on the Web provides a better online experience than simply reading webpages.
  • You can easily provide feedback on a page by telling the author what you think or adding information that may be useful to other people.
  • When you find something you like, you can share it with your friends, whether it's a product, article, video, or other website.

Cons:

  • Trolls and cyberbullies may add negative or offensive comments.
  • Things you post may become permanent, so you have to be careful not to post things that could harm your reputation in the future.
  • With social plug-ins, it's possible for companies to track your browsing history to collect data about your preferences.

If you are interested in posting comments and using social plug-ins, we have tutorials on the following: