Is a Dislike button on Facebook really a good idea?

There is tons of popular demand on Facebook for something called a “dislike” button. On a Facebook post, one has the option to “like” something that someone posted. This act alone has given a different connotation to the word “like”, which I approve of. I remember back in middle school if I used the word “like” to describe someone, people thought that I had a crush on the person, regardless of my actual opinion. It just so seemed to me that ever since Facebook became popular (about when I entered high school) people didn’t run down that train of thought so much anymore.
Sometimes people will see posts relating to something that they don’t want to “like”, but don’t want to disregard either. Perhaps someone made an ignorant status, or perhaps there is a gory picture of a mistreated farm animal from a pro-vegan site. Instead of “liking” things like this, perhaps one would want to “dislike” it.

I see a couple of problems with this. For starters, I don’t think that Facebook should be encouraging negativity like that. Sure, you could say that people shouldn’t friend people on Facebook unless they actually want to talk to them. Socially awkward people who don’t have that many friends may want to add everyone they know or know of despite their true opinions of those people so that when they actually do want to talk to someone/add someone on Facebook, they have 200 or so friends and not 20. There sometimes happens to be a social stigma against people who have less than 100 “friends” on Facebook: they are weird, they are anti-social, etc. I have over 400 “friends” on Facebook and I actually interact with about 20 or 30 of them. Said socially awkward person may want to add a certain amount of friends to avoid putting himself into a quagmire.

On the same token, though, if there were to be a dislike button, bullies of said socially awkward person may go around his wall and dislike a bunch of things just for the sake of spiting him. This may not be very good for the socially awkward person for obvious reasons, people might ignorantly look at his wall and see a bunch of dislikes everywhere. They might think negative things about him. And it just doesn’t feel great to see that everyone is disliking your things. Gangs of “dislikers” wouldn’t only affect “socially awkward” people, either. They could be cast upon anyone. All in all, I do not support the idea of a “dislike” button. I feel as if it’d subconsciously move people in a negative direction in the same way that I feel the “like” button has subconsciously moved people in a positive direction.

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9 thoughts on “Is a Dislike button on Facebook really a good idea?

  1. I think a really important point is made here. It is convenient that social media allows to you interact with lots of people all at the same time, but there is no compartmentalization or privacy. People will judge you for how you act towards them but also how you interact with others. Friendships and relationships are open to the public to make judgments about it, and in turn, people will form opinions of you based on your activities on social media sites.

  2. I think it may be good to install a dislike button on Facebook.

    ” Facebook should be encouraging negativity like that,” is a point that is made. However what about all of the negative posts that are accepted by Facebook with no filter. Is that encouraging negativity?

    And the bullies who “dislike a bunch of things just for the sake of spiting him,” are not barred from commenting on this victim’s posts, which they often do. I am sure that that is more detrimental to one’s mental health than a simple dislike. I do not believe that Facebook regulates these things either, does that mean that these actions, negative ones, are condoned by Facebook? Perhaps a dislike button for these would prevent bullies from being bullies, as their posts might be disliked also.

    A similar system is set up on the site Reddit. Upvotes and downvotes control the content of the site. It is an effective way to see what is acceptable to the largely anonymous community. With Facebook not being anonymous, the like/dislike buttons may control negative behavior and foster a more positive community, as negativity would be disliked.

      • Dislikes don’t always have to be a negative thing, although conducivity is irrelevant to what I am trying to say because conducivity implies creation of material that isn’t influenced by the Facebook hierarchies. Your stomach is conducive to digesting a candy cane in the same way that Facebook is conducive to having posts such as this on it:

        Making candy canes poisonous wouldn’t necessarily be very productive.

  3. This is quite an interesting point. I became a recent user of Facebook because I simply wanted to keep track of my friends after high school. Like mentioned in this post, there have been a few instances where I “liked” something, only to question how that would be received. For one instance, a friend was having a bad day, and I “liked” it without any thought to simply offer my support, only to later realize that maybe it would not be received that way. In that case, the like/reply functions of Facebook seem flawed, but changing such an iconic set of actions would most likely be difficult for users to accept.

  4. While I have no doubt that people would use the ‘dislike’ button to be mean to people, I don’t think anyone should take so great of offense to it. The ‘like’ itself means very little. I think it’s been devalued by just how many things a single person on Facebook will ‘like’ a day. I was hanging out with a friend, and she simply scrolled down her wall hitting like on everything, taking no time to read or observe what she was doing. Not to mention I sometimes accidentally hit like on posts and don’t realize until a day later ( When I then unlike it).

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