I had one of those moments last week when you stop and pause and really, really think. I saw multiple posts along the lines of, “Facebook’s Getting a Dislike Button!” Half curious and half-laughingly, I thought to myself, “All the selfie-posters are going to really hate this one.” But after watching the Q&A with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announcing that the tech giant is almost ready to begin testing a “Dislike” button, I couldn’t help but smile.
There are so many times we stumble across heartbreaking posts and tragedies and feel the need to display some indication of support. The “I’m here for you” or the “This was hard to read, but it was worth the read” and even the adorable shelter dogs that pop up on your newsfeed that you can’t help but “like.”
A “like” doesn’t always seem appropriate. We don’t “like” that there are some pretty terrible things happening in the world, or that Buster, the 4-year-old German Shepherd, doesn’t have a forever home.
This soon-to-come button isn’t about disliking selfies or politics, it’s about empathy.
Zuckerberg said it best, “People aren’t looking for an ability to down vote other people’s posts. What they really want is to be able to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment, right? And if you are sharing something that is sad, whether it’s something in current events like the refugee crisis that touches you or if a family member passed away, then it might not feel comfortable to Like that post.”
An empathy button... I “like” that.