Beyond The ‘Like’: Does Facebook Need New Buttons?


It does not surprise me that Facebook have scrapped the idea of a ‘dislike’ button shortly after CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced it in September this year. The very thought of it conjures up images of internet trolls sat behind their computer screens, laughing as they wreak havoc down other people’s timelines. One of the main concerns many people had regarding this controversial new feature were heavily linked to childhood cyber bullying, with around 7,296 counselling sessions taking place last year alone with victimised children according to the NSPCC. This number may have simply continued to increase had the ‘dislike’ button been added to the social media site.

However, the ‘emoji’ buttons that are set to replace the ‘dislike’ button are equally as useless. Whilst it is obvious that not everything in life is to be ‘liked’, and some people use Facebook as a means to inform their friends and family of negative events, there is a sense of laziness and apathy that comes with the use of these buttons. The reason the ‘like’ button works so well is because it allows for a quick acknowledgement of something good, which people are less likely to do in an unfortunate situation, hence why these ‘reactions’, which include emojis such as ‘haha’, ‘yay’, and ‘sad’ seem pretty pointless (especially when we have the option to just comment on the status).

Surely we are better off simply communicating with each other, rather than misinterpreting what someone means when they ‘love’ your status about your cat dying – are they sending love, or are they genuinely happy about the news? No one will know. Although the ‘dislike’ feature works on other popular websites such as YouTube, the anonymity that comes with it is what allows people to remain, for the most part, unaffected by people’s opinions. Having people you know react in a way that can be misunderstood may complicate relationships. This begs the question, will anyone actually bother using this new feature? Only time will tell…

By Hayley Andrews

Ok, admittedly I can see the flaws in the Facebook dislike button. An out and out dislike button undoubtedly does throw up some problems, and Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement was definitely greeted with more than a few raised eyebrows. The concerns voiced were valid, that encouraging users to publicly ‘dislike’ something would increase cyber-bullying and negativity – something we can all agree is already far too prevalent on the Internet. For me however, the idea of of Facebook finally offering something other than the linear ‘like’ response is a step in the right direction.

We can all appreciate the times when a simple ‘like’ isn’t quite going to cut it. It has become a truth universally acknowledged on Facebook that a ‘like’ did not always mean someone actually approved of the status – it came to take on different meaning when applied to the context. For example if someone shared sad or unfortunate news, Facebook ‘likes’ came to mean support, as opposed to being synonymous with enjoying the situation.

So, when the development of a Facebook dislike button was announced, to me it signalled that the worker bees up at Facebook HQ had seen that the ‘like’ button alone wasn’t going to suffice and they were going to offer us an improvement.

Now they have expanded the development and are giving us something even better – the new ’emotional’ buttons. These buttons (which are going to express feelings we can all relate to on a spiritual level such as ‘haha’, ‘wow’ and ‘yay) show that Facebook is listening to people’s requests for an attempt at a more human range of emotions. For me the dislike button would have been the beginning of an increasingly real social media – and now these emotional buttons are going to help us express ourselves though something other than just the infinite optimism of the ‘like’.

By Molly Evans


Comments are closed.