The English language is constantly evolving, and often new words and usages eventually catch on to the point that they become mainstream. The word "like" as a way to communicate the speaker's inner thoughts while relaying a story hasn't yet caught on with everyone. But often new word usage has to await the passing of a generation of old timers. But they were all so L7 anyway.
There are linguists who study this stuff. Alexandra D’Arcy is one of them, although officially she's a sociolinguist. Michael Bourne cites her work in Like, OMG! ‘Like’ Is, Like, Totally Cool, Linguist Says. Bourne says the following:
“In writing, there’s a huge range of verbs that you can use and each of those evoke a different mood,” D’Arcy explains. “You can say: ‘she whispered,’ ‘she yelled,’ ‘she murmured.’ In speech, when you look at what people have been doing historically, really all you quoted was speech — ‘she said’ — and every once in a while you got a ‘think.’ What’s happened over the past 150 years is that we can quote so much more now. We can quote thought, or something that looks more like attitude. We can quote writing. We can quote sound. We can quote gesture. There’s a huge panoply of things we can quote and incorporate into our storytelling.”
Now the word "like" is used to help convey the story teller's own reaction to the scene being described. Here's Bourne quoting D'Arcy:
There used to be a time when my story might have been: ‘I saw her enter the room and I was terrified that she would recognize me and so I crouched down.’ Which is actually sort of boring. But now you can tell that as: ‘I saw her, and I was like, oh my god! I was like, what if she sees me? I was like, oh my god, I’ve gotta hide. I was like, what am I supposed to say to her?’ And it can go on. I’ve seen it where you have eight quotes in a row of strictly first-person internal monologue where that monologue becomes action. That’s new.
Well, if that's not the bee's knees!