Why Facebook shouldn’t embrace the ‘dislike’ button

Oct. 5, 2015

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

A Facebook “like” is an art that connects friends no matter where they are. Though sometimes an obsession, there is a moment of happiness we all share when that notification appears on our iPhone screens.

Bob, Sue, and 18 others disliked your status.

Did it get cold in here, or is it just me?

Despite not knowing the context of the above sentence, the gratification that came with “likes” is no longer there. And for Facebook, this will be a problem.

Facebook has changed a number of features since its inception more than ten years ago. The timeline and cover photo options have been some of the most welcome added features.

Last month, Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was in the process of adding a “dislike” button, a feature asked for when Facebook introduced the like button.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions from users. Intrigued, I posted on my professional Facebook page, asking what my followers think of the move by the company. The answers varied greatly.

“I’m going to use that baby on everything. My fave gets voted off DWTS? Dislike! You get dumped? Dislike? The Huns invade China, AGAIN?! DISLIKE! I am so ready for this!” said one.

“It’s too ambiguous. Maybe a sympathy button?” said another.

“I’m a fan of the change actually there are a lot of political posts I can’t wait to dislike bahahahaha.”

I believe a dislike feature on Facebook will have many unintended consequences and will be abused in the worst way.

Life isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes sad updates are needed to keep your close friends and family in the loop; a break up, losing your job, etc. I agree that a button to address these life circumstances is needed and I understand that “liking” the post of a negative life event seems wrong.

But mark my words, a dislike feature, if allowed in the same parameters as the like button, will cause needless drama and negativity I don’t want to see on my timeline.

Mary disliked your status about cooking bacon because she’s a vegetarian.

10 people disliked your engagement photo with your boyfriend because they don’t agree with same-sex marriage.

15 people disliked the comment you shared because it expressed your opinion on a touchy subject.

If Facebook adds a dislike button, everything we love about the network will be overshadowed by hurt feelings.

There is already a way to show your displeasure with a social media post, simply say it. If you truly want to show sympathy for a post, comment on it. Don’t like it. Share your condolences with your words.

Words can go a lot further than a simple press of a button. Besides, if you can’t find the time to actually say something from your heart, are you really that sorry in the first place? Seems like the easy way out if you just click.

There is no word on how Facebook will regulate the “dislike” button, context is desperately needed to accurately judge how others could misuse the feature.

But people will misuse it.