Happy, like, New Year!

It was recently brought to my attention that I’ve developed a penchant for inserting the word “like” into my speech, excessively and inappropriately. My initial reaction to this news flash was to dismiss the severity of the situation, faulting the person who called me out on it (ahem, my boyfriend) for being hypercritical, and citing the fact that it’s not harming anyone if I say like. There really are bigger fish to fry in this world. That said, he claims it’s harming him – he doesn’t want to pick up my bad habit. Oh p’shaw, live and let live.

Then he finally let up on me after calling me out on every misused like for a whole day (very annoying, not to mention expensive if I ever live up to my end of the bargain to pay 25-cents per like), and I started to hear what he was talking about. “Like” this, and “like” that, and “like” this and that. Oh my. When did I fall off the wagon and regress back to my own pre-teen years?

Now, in my defense, I believe it’s fair to say that “like” addiction is widespread and socially accepted. Society is to blame as much as us poor afflicted souls, for ignoring this condition and allowing it to fester untreated. Not so much a crackhead prostitute as a high-functioning alcoholic (to relate it to more commonly known dependencies), I am able to hold down a job well and good, I have nary a problem communicating my thoughts and feelings, and my comic timing seems unaffected. It’s as if excess “likes” are deleted from speech cognition altogether, therefore eliminating the need for their eradication. So then, all’s good, right?

Except it isn’t. I am miffed by it now; barely able to stand the sound of my own voice. (It’s true what they say, ignorance is bliss.) And to make it worse, I’m now starting to notice “likes” all around me. And adding insult to injury, this proves my boyfriend right – his claim that I could infiltrate his speech is valid. In fact, I blame those in my vicinity for my own problem. They’re “like” pushers, they are!

Ok, so step one – admitting you have problem – check. Now recovery can begin. Frankly, I am confident I can break this ill-gotten habit, but I have no illusions of it being easy. I’d go cold turkey if it was a simple physical yearning, but my own speech, the words that tumble from my mouth, that involves mental and physical control – no small feat. I don’t doubt it will be good for me, and a worthwhile effort, but I’m just putting it out there that if I talk a little slower, take awkward pauses to compose my words, or curse aloud after every indiscretionary “like,” then be patient with me. And if I fail, remember that there’s no one to blame but: my boyfriend, everyone in my vicinity who doesn’t control their affliction, and society at large.

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