Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thinking Out Loud Thursdays - Why the "Dislike" Button is a BAD Idea!

Happy Thursday everyone!  I am linking up with the lovely Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud Thursdays!  

So, have you all heard the news?!  Looks like Facebook is getting a "Dislike" button.  Read about the news here.  Stay with me on the soapbox while I tell you why I think the dislike button is a BAD idea.  

Facebook is Like High School

If you knew that your kids went to high school and got tagged by a like or dislike button everyday, wouldn't you want it to stop?  Isn't the whole point of Facebook to try and feel good about ourselves without someone tagging us with a "dislike?"  Do we want to go back to days of high school when we had to worry what people would think of us?

I don't think even us grown ups can handle the insecurity of waiting to see if the pictures of our kids, race, pets etc. will get a Like or a Dislike!

Liking is Acknowledging

So what is disliking?  Here’s what psychologist Dr. Larry Rosen wrote for Psychology Today:
“Like” is an example of what I would call, “virtual empathy.” We are all well aware of what it means to be empathetic toward someone: having the ability to understand and share in another’s emotional state or context.
 So what then does a dislike mean?  Does it say your feelings are not worthy?  Or your opinion doesn't matter to me?  I get it.  There are some posts where the author posts a horrible event in their life and you want to "dislike" it.  But what if the author posts something that means the world to them and they get a dislike?  Then what?!

According to Facebook’s Help Center:
"Like" is a way to give positive feedback or to connect with things you care about on Facebook. You can like content that your friends post to give them feedback or like a Page that you want to connect with on Facebook.
So flip it.  Then "Dislike" would be a way to show what you DON'T care about?  Ugh!  I am not sure we are psychologically prepared to handle the "Dislike" button.

Like = Self Worth

"Like" it or not (see what I did there?), we all look at the number of likes we get on Facebook as a measure of worth.  Believe it or not, people go on to Facebook to look for kindness and empathy.  They are not looking for ways to further bring themselves down.  

But Facebook already does that.  There are articles everywhere about the effects of Facebook on your self esteem.  The University of Salford in the UK did a study last year on social media’s effects on self-esteem and anxiety and this study concluded that social media causes low self-esteem and anxiety.  So why on God's green earth would you add yet another weapon in that arsenal?  Won't the dislike button make it worse?

Those who anxiously turn on their computers / iPhones and other devices looking to see how many likes their pictures received?  Think they will feel good about themselves by seeing that their dislikes outweighed the likes?

Sorry for the rant!  I am a fairly self-confident person but even I know if I post a picture of my kids or my dog or my husband or my latest Spandits outfit and I get 345 dislikes and 12 likes, I will be crushed.  So please Facebook, I urge you to reconsider introducing the Dislike button into our already fragile ego'd lives.  I am not sure I we could take it!

As always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom


  1. I kind of thought of this in a different way. I thought the dislike button would be more for if someone had a negative or sad status - such as someone passing away. I've had friends post about losing loved ones on facebook and I would never like it because that seemed weird to like someone's status about a funeral. I would alsways just leave a comment.

    1. Absolutely! Agreed! Maybe it should be user driven to enable or disable the Dislike button. I think it has all the markings of a disaster otherwise!

  2. I agree and think you definitely brought up some good points. When I like a status about someone's bad day or bad event that happened in their life, I feel like I'm acknowledging their post and letting them know that they matter. It isn't necessarily a reflection of my actual fondness for their statement.

    1. Like = Acknowledgement. So what does dislike =?

    2. I don't think I would use the dislike button- I think it will be received as negative no matter the intentions behind it. I know I'd feel bad if got "dislikes" on my posts. It will definitely force me to rethink how I respond to posts.

  3. I think that they need a Facebook "SadFace" button. Like "sadface" you had a bad day, not "Sadface" your face is sad. i will be really interested to see what they decide to do!

  4. I see how the dislike button could be useful in a professional setting. Seems like an easy way to generate conversation, gather opinions, etc...kind of like social polling. As for my personal FB life...definitely don't need any extra negativity there. Ignorance is bliss, and I'd rather not know!

  5. Agree, it's a bad idea. People also take a lot of what is posted online seriously which is a problem.

  6. I totally agree! Enough negativity without it!

  7. total agreement!! I've often wondered when people post "bad" news, what am I supposed to do? I do feel bad for them (and want them to know that), but I don't want to "like" their bad post. I usually just comment on the post ("thinking of you," etc.) and move on. I really think a "dislike" option is NOT necessary. Great post!!!! I "like" what you said ;-)

  8. Every once in a while you always wished there was a Dislike button just because when someone posts something sad like a funeral or something you feel awkward clicking on the like button until a few others have done it first:)
    But when they put this out officially and I heard about it my first thought was, the bullying. I work with the youth in my area, and kids have so much pressure. If they were like you said above post a picture of themselves and everyone disliked it instead of liked it, it's just another way for people to get to them.
    What I think they should do, is have it optional. Like you could add it to your page, or remove it at anytime. Maybe no one under 18 should be allowed to have it or see it. I know that sounds dumb, but frankly I think all things considered it is probably not a FB smart choice!