The recent news that Facebook is to add a dislike button to its site has left me with mixed feelings.

Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook   says this button has been long requested and he is now in a position to say it’s being worked on and a test rollout is due very soon.

In his eyes this button will be used to show empathy or solidarity to a Facebook friend when they experience some kind of tragic news.

Often, when browsing my friends posts on Facebook I’ve wished for such a button. In those times when words fail me and I long to administer a virtual hug this button would just about suffice. To say “hey, I’m with you. I love you. I support you”. I dislike what you’re going through.

The pitfalls I feel are that Facebook can be a breeding ground for envy and this button is open to abuse.

Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn’t want this button to become a vote down on people’s posts but I fear on some occasions it will become just that.

When I think about Facebook I have 2 schools of thought. Either people post about how wonderful their lives are or the polar opposite. It’s like a mask we pick up when we log on to our social media sites. I often stray into the first category.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy Facebook. I love my friends and family and I want to know what’s going on in their lives. I’m just not sure I want the power to dislike their posts. What if I’m in a bad mood one day? What if I’m feeling malicious one day? A friend posts something. In a split second I dislike it because I’m feeling cantankerous and that friendship is on rocky ground. The old “my  finger pressed the wrong button”  excuse will only wash so many times.
Then what about the trolls who pop up on Facebook and give people grief? Some of them must be itching to get their fingers on such a button. Yet another way to torment their victims.

In summary I’m all for this button if it’s used correctly and kindly to show solidarity and empathy but not if it’s being used to bully and belittle people and that’s what we need to guard against.


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