You’ve been there. Your friend posts a status on Facebook. She’s having a bad day. Maybe she was late to work or maybe she stubbed her toe while getting ready.
Or, maybe it was something heavier – She got into an accident and is updating her friends to let them know she’s shaken, but okay. Perhaps her dog passed away today, and she’s sharing a bittersweet collage of old photos of her adorable pup.
How do you respond?
Sure, you can comment to show your sympathy or support, but you’re busy. You’ve got a lot of other stories on your feed to tend to. You don’t have time to write something thoughtful and unique, and you certainly don’t want to run the risk of appearing shallow.
In the past, your only other option was to hit the “Like” button. But in some cases, that just seems wrong. You don’t actually like bad news. Many of Facebook users have been calling for a solution to this problem for years.
However, at a Facebook question-and-answer event in 2014, founder Mark Zuckerberg made it pretty clear that there would never be a “Dislike” feature.
“Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to say, “That thing isn’t good.” And that’s not something that we think is good for the world,” said Zuckerberg. “So we’re not going to build that.”
Late last year, however, it was announced that new reaction buttons would be available for users to respond to posts in a more diverse way. There are six in total: Like, Love, Wow, Haha, Sad, and Angry.
As of this week, those reactions are available to American users.
Suddenly, we have a whole range of options: Like and Love for positive posts, Sad and Angry for those negative posts you felt weird “Liking,” and even Haha and Wow for those posts that make us laugh or blow our minds.
If you’re worried that Facebook is going to start tracking your emotions to better target you for advertising, you don’t have to worry quite yet. While the idea hasn’t been ruled out, it won’t be implemented at launch.
Reactions to the new options are varied:
my new dick move is going to be giving the “sad” facebook reaction to outfit selfies of people who have wronged me
— Seán (@seanfaye) February 24, 2016
Facebook has ‘Reaction’ buttons which include Love, Sad, Angry, Haha and Wow.
Awaiting first break up due to wrong button press error now.
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) February 24, 2016
By using Facebook’s new reaction buttons it will teach them how to make me angry, make me sad and make me happy. This makes me scared.
— Felicity Morse (@FelicityMorse) February 24, 2016
So what do you think of the new feature? Are you thrilled to finally have options or are you concerned about the implications? Let us know!