For years, people have been calling for a “dislike” button on Facebook to counter the popular “like” option.
And there really was never a need for that. Everyone knows that it only would have been used basically as a cyber-bullying tool to discourage and discredit their own friends. And there’s just too much negativity in the world already for that.
But Facebook brass did eventually come around, acknowledging the fact there is a need for people to be able to express greater emotion besides a simple like.
When people post sad news about their pets or grandparents dying, or post an article about a suicide bombing in the Middle East, then we should be able to express our sympathy or our anger.
Beginning today (at least it was for me) people can now respond to statuses using emojis or icons that convey six basic emotions — like, love, laughter, amazement, sadness and anger.
Facebook deserves to be congratulated. Humans are complex, multifaceted beings, and limiting us to one single emotion to express ourselves was always too restraining.
And now that it’s fixed, the entire system is broken. Allow me to elaborate.
Facebook was once a useful tool. A way to connect with your friends. To ensure that people you’ve lost touch with never truly fade. To stalk the hot girl you met the night before.
But now that everybody is on it, it’s basically become a popularity contest. Who can make the most endearing Facebook posts that generate the most likes. Achieving 20, 30, 40 likes was a badge of honor. Fifty or more was the equivalent to dating the prom queen.
And 100 or more? Pshh, that was like reaching pure Zen. It’s the Mount Everest of social media. I did it once — don’t ask me how, but it was a special day. It’s right up there with the time I … uh, actually screw it. It was the best moment of my life.
But now the sanctity of Facebook liking just went out the window. With these range of emotional responses, people are going to be very liberal in utilizing them. Indeed, Facebook now appears to be bunching all of them together. As in, it will say “47 people” responded to your post, but it’s spread between the likes, the laughs and the wows.
It means nothing anymore. The system has forever changed. And In the future, we’ll all be telling our grandkids about how we had to earn our Facebook likes.
The lesson? Be careful what you wish for folks.
Because when you get it, you may not “like” it very much.
…allow me to respond to that joke on your behalf.