September 15, 2015 – Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a long-awaited announcement during an informal Q&A session. Zuckerberg announced that Facebook has not only finally bowed to the pressure, but also has deemed it necessary for the social network to have a dislike button.
Zuckerberg statement comes as the direct opposite of what he said last December, “Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to be able to say ‘that thing isn’t good’ and we’re not going to do that. I don’t think that’s socially very valuable or great for the community.”
The move by Facebook might have some positive aspect to it; people post about tragic events all the time on the social network. As a user, you are limited in how you can express your empathy. Take, for instance, when a friend posts about the passing away of a loved one, you either make a comment by writing your condolence or either ‘Like’ the post.
When you ‘Like’ the post, you run the risk of being misunderstood as having enjoyed the misfortune that has befallen your friends. However, the reality most people prefer hitting the ‘Like’ button especially when they don’t have a lot of time in their hands to give a well-thought-out opinion on a particular post. It is a lazy approach to engaging with posts on Facebook, but having a ‘Dislike’ button will go a long way to showing empathy in such scenarios.
However, on the other hand, the ‘Dislike’ button could only serve to increase cyber bullying and the result might be people shying away from using Facebook altogether. There is a good chance that when the ‘Dislike’ button is rolled out on Facebook, it will be used by cyberbullies to ‘downvote’ other people’s posts.
Some people are of the opinion that Facebook should do away with ‘Like’ and the soon-to-be-released ‘Dislike’ button. That way, people will be left with the option of just commenting on posts. This way, people will also be forced to participate actively on the platform by applying some thoughts on the posts others are posting. As opposed to just (in a lazy way) hitting the ‘Like’ button.
Perhaps the laziness people show on Facebook might be the net effect of ‘ready-to-drink’ and ‘microwave-cooked’ attitude. On the other hand, it simply could be people are just too busy and lack the attention span to read keenly and thoughtfully reply to all the posts from all their ‘Friends’ on Facebook.