I dislike the dislike button

Sarah Harris

Millennials live in an age where self-assurance is usually determined by how many likes you get on social media. Now this isn’t anything new, we are all aware of this sickness that affects many Generation Y-ers. I myself went through a phase where I would take down Instagram photos if they didn’t get enough likes. Luckily, I can say that I have moved past that dark time in my life and acted how some people might call mature.

But many people have not reached that stage in their lives. And now this disease of self measure through the amount of likes they get is about to get a whole lot worse because Facebook is working on creating a ‘dislike’ button.

Zuckerberg told Business Insider this past week his reasoning behind the button, and, boy, oh boy, is it laughable. His reasoning: when someone posts about a family member passing away, or a current event that is sad, users now have more options other than ‘liking’ and are able to express empathy.

Talk about a PR statement. “Dislike” has too much of a negative connotation with it at this point to be even close to meaning sympathy. If I’m disliking something, it’s because I don’t agree or I think, “That’s stupid and you should take it down.” If a friend’s family member passes away, it’s acceptable to like that person’s post about them because it’s usually a memorial post, or you can comment with your condolences. You can even be an actual human and contact the person telling them that you’re sorry for their loss, like how things used to be.

I’m going to post photos on Facebook, and honestly, I don’t want to know if you dislike them. Keep those thoughts to yourself.

And if I post articles, like this one, and I’m looking for feedback, then I encourage you to express your thoughts without simply pressing a little thumbs down button. That’s another thing, if you dislike something, and you want to express those feelings, you are forced to comment. Now, people will be able to dislike things, and not even tell you why they don’t like it.

I can see it now, millennials everywhere, creating support groups for one another, because their post got more dislikes than likes.

And if you really dislike something, like someone’s selfie, are you really gonna hit that dislike button? For everyone to see? Would you? Are you sure? Didn’t think so.

And if you are thinking to yourself, “Yes, finally, a dislike button.” Well, what I think you’re actually thinking is, “Yes, finally, a way for me to be a total asshole.” My theory on assholes: humans who only care about themselves so much to the point where they consciously make people feel bad, and it makes them feel good. Dislike button = opportunity to be an asshole.

This all goes back to the fact that people shouldn’t care. They just shouldn’t. Opinions are a good thing, and if you disagree, that’s fine, that’s how it’s suppose to be. You can disagree with this entire column because life would be incredibly boring if we all agreed. Agree wouldn’t even be a word if that were the case.

But, that doesn’t mean you have to go and express that you dislike something. Instead, realize that person posted something because they wanted to and they’re not forcing you to look at it; you chose to. You chose to be “friends” with them on Facebook. And if you are such good “friends” that you decided to be “friends” on Facebook, then wouldn’t you be liking all their posts? Because you’re a good “friend?”

Live and let live. Like and don’t dislike.