Hi! It’s my insecure writer’s support group day 🙂 If you’re a writer (or just a human) with insecurities, check out the iwsg main page!Okay it’s old news now, but the new facebook “reactions” are kind of cute. I do wish they’d included disagree type reaction… Maybe not a “dislike” but come on, an “eye-roll” at least?
I get it though, there’s enough bullying online without a way to casually, effortlessly, and even guiltless-ly (I know, not a word ) spread negativity. It would hurt people, and empower internet jerks. Although some assholes will find a way to use anything sarcastically or rudely. (“sad” on a selfie? “haha” on a plea for help?) Ugh.
Still, the new reaction options have a lot of benefits. Now you can hit “sad” instead of “like” on a post about someone’s gofundme or their dog dying. When someone posts about finding their spouse has been cheating, you can indicate your displeasure with “angry,” you don’t have to “like” it.
Although it might mean less talking on facebook. Before, if I wanted to offer my sympathy on a sad post, and of course I didn’t want to “like” it, I’d comment. Now I can just click “sad” and move on.
Overall, I think the new reactions are a great improvement. But here’s the thing: I’m not sure any “reaction” option is a good idea.
I’m on a few social media sites and internet forums. Most have some kind of reaction based system when you can “like” or “upvote” or “+1” or whatever. And to me, the insecure basket case that I am, these are all trouble. Reactions give me so much online stress, to be honest.
But I don’t know if its just me. Am I holding people to ideals that are weird or unreasonable?
For instance: I think that if you start a thread in a forum, or publish a post, and people choose to reply to you, you should “like” (or respond somehow, via comment or “reaction”) their reply. They took time out of their day to type up a few words of encouragement, or to share a personal thought, opinion, or story. How do you just ignore that? But people do. It makes me not want to interact with those people. Seriously how hard is it to click “like”???
Or: You know the person who tries to “send a message” by liking everyone’s comments except the one written by the dude he’s currently in a beef with? So messy. It makes me realize the person is petty, and worry that someday I will be the one in the doghouse, having my well-intentioned contributions ignored.
If you ask me, the best places have no reactions at all. Because those places have interactions instead. If a topic or a post is important to you, truly worthy of a reply, you’ll respond in writing. Without the option to just click “like,” you’re forced to…actually respond to the post. And you’re less likely to be rude if you have to publicly “talk” and not just click a button. (hopefully!)
Also, reactions can easily be misinterpreted. But a comment is usually clear, or can be responded to appropriately. If someone says something rude in a comment, I can decide to engage them, unfriend or block them, or just ignore their words. When someone clicks a reaction, I’m full of assumptions and doubt: did they click ‘like’ because they’re happy? Was that an ironic ‘like’? (I told you I’m a basket case!!)
Anyway I think it’s a lot less stress, overall, when there are no reaction options. Who’s with me? Am I the only wimp who is too sensitive to interact online?