Dislike for a dislike button

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

By Divya Putty

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says that for many years, people have been asking for a “dislike” button, but he has made it clear that he intends to provide a different option. Rather than a “dislike” button, Facebook will create something similar to a “sympathy” or “empathy” button that would provide users with a more appropriate way to express that they relate to a certain post. This would allow people to show sympathy when they are uncomfortable with “liking” a sad post.

Many people are still in favor of Facebook creating a “dislike” button, which would provide a second option to display one’s opinion on a post. Quite the contrary, a “dislike” button would cause various negative consequences. Arguments, physical fights, and cyberbullying are all serious issues that can stem from a “dislike” if the button was in fact created.

“Disliking” a post can raise questions and confusion in the mind of the person who posted it. They would begin to wonder, “Why did this offend so-and-so? Was posting this a bad idea? Am I still on good terms with him/her?” These questions would need to be answered for the person to regain their peace of mind. A “dislike” button would only cause rifts in relationships between people. Since it does not require anyone to comment, someone who posts something would always wonder why people disliked what they thought was worth posting.

People claim that they want a “dislike” button because they want to avoid having to view repetitive posts, particularly sad ones. For example, BBC London posted on Facebook about a recent protest outside a club in London after two women were not allowed to enter because they were too dark and overweight.

If a viewer “likes” that post, there is always an ever-present fear of misunderstanding. What if the owner of the post thinks the viewer “likes” that the women were turned away? And if a viewer dislikes a post, how can they be sure that the owner will not think that the viewer dislikes the fact that a protest occurred for injustice?

Given the option to “like” or “dislike,” one would be walking on eggshells either way.

Why cause confusion, discomfort, and possible quarrels with a “dislike” button?

Zuckerberg’s idea to include something for viewers to display sympathy would be more successful and less confusing. In the previous instance, if one was given the choice to like or show sympathy with a button, the choice is easy.

No one feels nervous or regretful of the impression they send by “liking” or “disliking”, and nobody is emotionally hurt. The desire for more options on a post would be granted without unfortunate results.

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