Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Facebook isn't actually adding a "dislike" button, but it really, really should

I've been saying for years that Facebook needs a "dislike" button.  Yesterday, a number of stories caught fire across the interwebs with headlines claiming it was finally happening.  I was temporarily psyched.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.

What Facebook is actually doing, is working on an "empathy" button--so when you post that your dog died, rather than "liking" it, I can express empathy.


First, what level of empathy could clicking on a button possibly provide?  If I honestly care about your problem, shouldn't I take the time to at least write a comment saying so?

And second, in my view, Facebook is about fun and entertainment.  I don't really post serious things, especially of the negative variety.  Stuff that might require empathy doesn't belong (I realize others may have a different perspective).  I'm not interested in reading about your basement flooding or your kid breaking his arm.  If we're close enough that these topics matter to me, I'll find out in real life.

Isn't Facebook dying off anyway?  Won't Zuckerberg be getting desperate?  Maybe it's not quite that time yet, but it's definitely coming soon.  And when it does, hopefully then he'll be willing to risk turning Facebook into a Wild Wild West of "likes" and "dislikes" in order to remain relevant.

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