Facebook is rolling out its ‘reactions’ – a supercharged like™ button with 6 ‘empathetic’ Emoji. Currently being tested in those 2 hotbeds of reactions and emotion Spain and Ireland. Now, I’m all for progress, especially in the exciting tech space arena we are virtually living in, but, I can’t help thinking what’s the Facebook point?
I’ve always thought that there was something quite charming about the simple like button.
Or rather the simplicity of just a “like” button. The cynic in me used to think this was a bit Orwellian newspeak – “like” or “unlike”. However the optimist in me believed it to be positive. Youtube always had thumbs up or thumbs down but Facebook was for ‘friends’, right? So like stuff or not bother, basically.
It’s cool when modern things like Twitter evolve in the manner the ‘people’ use them. There are lots of ways Facebook could be improved, design wise for example, but mainly I wish they’d stop fucking about with the settings and just protect my over all privacy.
With the iconic, recognizable idea of Facebook’s like button, I just don’t get why fix something not broken, just because some people said they wanted an ‘dislike’ button. In a time when lots of people, myself included have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, it’s kind of adding a level of stupidity to something reveling in its own self importance. You can’t tell people how to use their Facebook anymore than you want to be told how to Facebook by Facebook or your Facebooking friends, real or Facebook.
People vote with their feet. LIke, no like, comment. Add, unfriend, block. Simple, isn’t it?
If you don’t like stuff, or your mates are too prolific then unfollow or maybe risk messaging them, commenting or talking to them in that thing called life – that you disapprove, don’t like etc?
I find it sad that we seem to be devaluing and homogenizing the emotional reaction to major actual life or death situations, tragedies etc. through emoticons, Emojis or six stunted icons. If you need an Emoji to tell someone you’re sorry their Nan or goldfish died then I find that tragic beyond words or Emoji.
I don’t mean to judge but fuck it – I mean by adding “love, yay, haha, sad, angry and wow” to the like mix – you actually provide the illusion of choice to people too stupid to write something apt in the comments if they strongly like or dislike. There’s no fifty shades of grey here – just 5 more to what was in hindsight brilliantly absolute and true to a tech platform, ie binary – and let the people do the rest.
Not only that but for me it’s muddying the waters of ‘social’ in a half hearted way that won’t encourage better communication – possibly just make it worse. What if I post something I think is really sad and someone currently doesn’t like it, I’m not offended. But what if they want to send love and they ‘love’ it. How do I feel about that? Or I post caught my knob in my trousers wanting people to think its funny cos I’m just mucking about and there’s no ‘ouch hope you’re joking’ Emoji – what am I going to make of people’s ‘yay’ or ‘haha’ reactions. There’s just more reasons to misinterpret something from both sides of the button. If not actually just more attention seeking Facebook paranoia – I also predict a lot more virtual and real Facebook-off domestics.
Beyond the lazy, it’s also another banal way of encouraging that friend of yours. I mean there’s always one person (we all know one) that robotically and relentlessly likes and likes and likes, now they’re gonna love, like, yay! And like their own love. Awesome.. BUT It’s all just generating more clickbait, clicks and stupid monetizable intangible content clicky things…. Oh I gets it..
My initial reaction to the ‘reactions’ was it reminded me of a simple business model we’ve used for decades (OMG, yes, even before The Facemashbook was an itch in Marky boy’s genius mind). It’s about building brands, understanding them and ultimately loyalty through inertia. The stages are plotted thus on a simple axis that goes from: Unkown > Understood > Like > Love
As much as I detest the concept of ‘owning’ things such as (trademark-able) colours and assets for brands, Facebook, the thumbs, “like” and even the concept of ‘friends’ was somehow quite nice and warm. I find from a marketing point of view – build on, capitalize, evolve that. Why be so greedy and arrogant and actually fucking annoying to bring ‘love’ into it. This is nothing similar to brilliant Milton Glazer ‘I love NY’ in my view, this is the road to hell. Now love is sponsored by a corporation. How long before the generation say “I Facebook you. Why don’t you say you Facebook me?” etc. Chills and spills. It’s the first time I’ve looked at the concept of it and genuinely thought – wow – that’s sinister.
Sorry Facebook I couldn’t give a flying avatar about your reactions, this time you’ve got it wrong. I say bring Bob Hoskins back to give everyone a slap and get us talking to each other, listening to each other again. Isn’t it nicer to gaze at your love by candlelight than smart screen light? By love I mean a human being, not an emoji concept. By feeding the addiction of Facebook, we are becoming so inert that we won’t move our eyes from our smart device when that device is a Facebook device fully converged into every smart wireless, keyless, chipless, pinless, contactless, brainless, humourless, soulless, lifeless little lives. Then the ants will reveal themselves as the true leaders of our planet.
Have a Facebook weekend everyone.