Imagine my excitement when I opened up my laptop earlier today and there on the Yahoo homepage was a news banner announcing that Facebook would soon be adding a “Dislike” button to the popular social website. Until now Facebookers have only been given three options we can “Like,” “Share” or “Comment” on a post But sometimes “Like” is not an appropriate response as in the case of a someone losing their job, battling cancer, or recovering from surgery or an accident. In situations like this hitting the like button seems foolish and sometimes crass but people do it all the time. I usually choose to do nothing at all or if truly moved I leave a comment to express my feelings or opinion. Soon we’ll be able to “Dislike” sad, tragic or painful situations, as well as post that are obnoxious or simply annoying and Lord knows there are plenty of those.
Wait a minute, hold the phone. I just went back to Yahoo and now they’re saying that the CEO of FB announced that will not be coming out with a “Dislike” button because FB doesn’t believe that FB should be a forum where people are voting up or down on other people’s posts, that is not the kind of community FB wants to create. What they are working on is more like an “Empathy”button or perhaps buttons where people can let the poster know that they understand the situation and are genuinely concerned. It’s a great idea for the sad or touching posts, but does nothing for those annoying posts. I was kind of liking the “Dislike” button for those posts. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what FB decides on.
I certainly hope FB come out with something that not only conveys empathy when appropriate but other feelings as well. As a member of the FB family and there are more than 156.5 million of us in the US, I’d like to see the “Dislike “button become reality. I realize it could be abused but that’s a risk many of us would be willing to take. And while FB is at it, how about adding an “I Don’t Care” or a “So What” button? Better yet how about “Duh”,”Get a Life” or “BS” buttons? Wouldn’t that be cool? There are many situations where they would be quite appropriate and a whole lot of fun. How about a “Shut the Hell Up button, and maybe for extreme cases a “FU” button.
Okay, okay, all kidding aside, I think FB should just stay out of the “Empathy” button business. It’s really a bad idea. Pushing a button to express sympathy is an empty gesture and extremely superficial. In situations where “Like” isn’t an appropriate response how about putting your brain to work, hit the comment button and express exactly what you’re feeling. Communicate people, the art of writing is alive and well! Don’t rely on buttons or those cute little Emojis, don’t be so lazy. Let the posters know that you empathize with them and support them. There are too many “easy” buttons already.