Facebook is finally considering sympathizing with its mega-million daily users by providing another option of emotion. Since its conception there has only been one choice and that is “Like.” What happens when something sad or unfortunate happens and a friend wants to acknowledge it? They are forced to say they like it even when they don’t.
Facebook is considering another option; one that would adequately or more appropriately describe compassion. Their new consideration of choice is a sympathy button. This isn’t the only new option being considered but it’s definitely the start of something new and fresh. Now, this would be a great place to add a “Like.”
Most would have to admit that it feels downright awkward to add a “Like” to a status when someone says their loved one died or they memorialize a personal or public tragedy. During these moments the option to “Sympathize” would be so much more appropriate. The decision to add more options has not yet been finalized but Facebook is definitely toying with the idea.
The idea was recently introduced by a developer at a Facebook hackathon. According to reports by The Huffington Post all that were in attendance were elated and thoroughly excited about the new concept.
This is how the new concept would work:
When someone writes a status on their Facebook page, they would then have the option to choose the way they would like to share their feelings in relation to that status. Facebook would add a fixed drop down list which includes a few different emotions and once an emotion was chosen the button that reads, “Like” would automatically change to a more appropriate response. For example, if someone chose “Depressed” as an emotion from the drop down list, the “Like” button would change to read “Sympathize.”
Facebook engineer, Dan Muriello, said that even though this new idea was well-received by fellow colleagues; it isn’t something that anyone can expect to be seen on the site just yet.
It’s about time, with all of the many changes, Facebook started to sympathize with their users. Social media has practically taken over people’s lives. It has transcended all boundaries of people’s private lives; not by accident but by the user’s choice. Social media goes to dinner, the movies, religious institutions, school, work and even people’s bedroom; so it’s a wonder that Facebook has managed to leave their fans with only one option for all of this time.
A button or option that sympathizes is great for starters but there are many more choices that would need to be added to really do the Facebookers justice.
However, with all of the suicides, murders and other tragic moments that stem from social media it makes sense that a “Sympathize” button would be the first option to be considered. There have been countless adverse situations that have affected Facebookers such as: lives lost to self inflicted wounds, relationships destroyed, jobs lost and victims bullied; all due to activity on Facebook. That’s not to say that Facebook is to blame but it has definitely proven to be the platform of choice.
Not only has Facebook been the place of choice for tragedy; it has also reconnected millions of people who may never have found one another. The internet is filled with reunion stories where families have reunited, relationships have been restored and pets have been returned to their rightful owners; all because of the power of social media.
There are a few other buttons such as; Love, Dislike and TMI that Facebookers could truly benefit from but with all that’s happening in the world any unselfish soul would have to admit that “Sympathize” is a great place to start.
The need for a choice other than “Like” is more apparent now than ever with the multiple somber statuses that hit Facebookers timelines throughout any given day. To say it’s awkward to “Like” someone’s misfortune is an understatement. Currently, the only options that exist are to leave a comment; which many would rather not do, or seem insensitive and “Like” that another Facebook “friend” is experiencing some type of turmoil.
As far as most can remember there has only been one choice for the Facebook world; and that is “Like.” When something sad or unfortunate happens and a friend wants to acknowledge it they are forced to say they like it even if they don’t. Facebook is finally considering sympathizing with their mega-million users by providing another option of emotion.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)