This is an excerpt from an Irish Times article shared on Facebook which has received 222 likes at the time of writing.
Mark Zuckerburg recently announced that a dislike button would enable users to express empathy in such scenarios.
According to the Guardian, the Facebook founder said “not every moment is a good moment.” Right you are, Mark. However, not every Facebook user is a good person.
The manner in which the dislike button could be used is unclear, as it is not yet set in stone whether its introduction will materialise.
The fundamental aim of its creation is paved with good intentions, but what happens when those who are ill-intentioned use it.
Hypothetically speaking, consider the way in which its initiation could give birth to a whole new level of cyber bullying.
Keyboard warriors are sadly a prominent feature of the big, bad world that is the internet.
Reading comments under articles on the Journal, Youtube videos and Facebook posts demonstrates the ease with which someone can remark something hurtful and horrible.
Will Smith recently joked on Graham Norton that he stopped Googling himself after reading numerous comments about how big his ears are.
On a less light-hearted scale, think of the boys and girls who have committed suicide over cyber bullying and those who have developed insecurities due to scornful remarks on various social media.
Enter dislike button. The Google definition of dislike is as follows:-
“Feel distaste for or hostility towards.”
A girl posts a picture of herself on Facebook as she thinks she looks pretty – 12 dislikes.
Someone posts a status which they find funny but it turns out other people don’t. – 14 dislikes.
John is in a relationship with Mary but certain people are a bit jealous about that – 7 dislikes.
The moral of the paragraph, the dislike button could potentially give rise to insecurities and deter people from putting things on social media due to a fear of disapproval from peers.
It is a means of fuelling the “haters”.
Youtube has a like and dislike feature but musical taste is very subjective.
It could be argued that how you perceive someone’s sense of humour or finding someone attractive is too; the latter is however, far more personal.
The introduction of this particular feature on Facebook could have very negative repercussions.
A song or article you write is never going to be liked by everyone, but you get over it. Someone implying they dislike your appearance or a happy event in your life is a bit more difficult to grasp.
Is there really a need for the dislike button?
Scrolling through the Facebook newsfeed on a daily basis, articles are published about horrific events happening in the world and people “like” them, they more often than not do not mean any harm but it is highly insensitive to like something involving a murder or accident in the same way you would a status about someone’s job promotion or engagement.
The renowned lyrics “you say it best when you say nothing at all” ring true in such a scenario.
The same logic should be applied to Facebook.
Perhaps the best solution is to just not “like” something which you do not find pleasing or entertaining. That in itself is empathising and inoffensive, and makes the requirement for a dislike button somewhat redundant.