The Facebook Dislike Button — It’s really not the button you’re looking for.
Facebook recently updated their “Like” button to allow for a broader range of emotions to a post or article. It hasn’t even been a full 24 hours and people are already complaining that they don’t have a “Dislike” Button and that’s all they asked for. Memes such as this one have already been created:
There are times when it’s weird to click “Like” on a sad story of someone losing a loved one or when someone is posting about hard times of any sort. There are times where I think, “I would really rather have a “Dislike” button in this situation.“
Let’s examine this for a moment. Most of us have been on the internet for a while now and we’ve come to realize that people can be insensitive, harsh, opinionated, and sometimes down right rude. At the same time, people can be perceived as being insensitive and harsh when that was never their intention. There is something lost in translation when dealing with text. Inflections, facial expressions, tone of voice…all lost on these cold hard words you’re staring at. Were they joking? Did they mean it? What did they mean by that??How something is perceived depends on the frame of mind the person reading the text as much as, and in some cases even more, than the intent behind what was posted. Being restricted to the choice of “Like” or “Dislike” limits properly expressing the intent behind that choice. Like doesn’t alway mean like (Facebook taught us that), and dislike may not always mean dislike in the same way to different people.
I want to lay out a scenario and let you think about it for a moment. Put yourself in this position and then ask yourself, “How would I feel if that happened to me?”
Imagine if you will: <cue daydreaming music>
You just took what you believe to be the most perfect selfie of all time. You look fabulous!! You post it, you comment on it with some vague half compliment, half put down of yourself (as is the Facebook way of things), and you wait. You wait for the “You look beautiful!” or “Woah, check out that sexy man!” posts, you wait for the likes to pile up into the tens of tens. You smile. Why? Because they like you! They really like you!!
When you go to bed you have 5 “you’re beautiful” comments and 23 likes. You feel good. You feel pretty and/or dashing. You feel confident.
Now, let’s add the dislike button. In doing so, we’ve just introduced a quick and easy way to allow someone to not like your picture. Before the dislike button, someone would look at it and say, “Hmm…not exactly his/her best side” and then they would move on. They would move on because they don’t want to click like and they don’t want to take the time to post something and then have to defend their opinion later on. But now…now there is a quick and easy dislike button. Nobody will want to be first, but when that brave soul clicks dislike the first time, it will open the door to many more dislikes.
When you wake up, you have 72 notifications waiting for you. You have 22 new comments, most of them bickering back and forth between those who have liked your picture telling those who clicked dislike how rude they are and those who clicked dislike arguing back. Let’s also toss in that one or two random post about something totally unrelated to anything. You picked up 18 more likes on your picture, but at the same time, you collected 32 dislikes.
Total: 41 likes, 32 dislikes. While the likes out number the dislikes, the dislikes are all you can focus on. They really don’t like you. You’re not beautiful, you’re not a sexy man, you’re ugly. All of your worst fears and insecurities have just come flooding over you like the feeling you get from eating bad seafood.
Do you still want a dislike button?
Personally, I think Facebook did a good job of allowing the fuller gambit of emotions to be captured in those 6 icon choices.
Like: We all know what this means…you like something (and it’s no longer the old Facebook definition of like)
Love: We’ve gone beyond just liking it, we really love it.
HaHa: We found the post funny.
Wow: We can’t believe he/she did that, or that “thing” just happened.
Sad: We find something sad.
Angry: We are flat out mad about this post! Growl, Hiss, Grrr!
Now we have more options besides “Like” when a friend’s father passes away. We can be “Angry” because cancer sucks, or “Sad” because we feel for our friend and mourn their loss with them, or both for that matter. We now have options, and we have options that make sense without the need for a dislike button.
And…if you still really feel the need for a “Dislike” button, not posting anything at all will serve as notice for how much you “Dislike”.