facebook reactions

My Mixed Emotions About Facebook Reactions

Something that I love about social media is that we really get to see people for who they are. I know you probably think I am crazy for saying that since so much of what people post on social media is actually fake, but hear me out.

Someone who is always posting selfies and discussing every detail of their so-called amazing lives online could very well just be a complete narcissist. Someone who is always seen in other people’s photos, but maybe doesn’t post a lot themselves might show that they are very friendly and social people. Someone who doesn’t post much at all, if ever, is possibly a quiet, introverted person. I’m not saying that this is true for everyone, but if you really take the time to observe other people’s online behavior, you can really get to know them.

With the recent release of Facebook Reactions, users now the option to select “Love,” “Angry,” “Haha,” “Sad,” and “Wow.” On the surface, these reactions may seem harmless. From a marketing perspective, I can think of a lot of great ways to incorporate reactions that would drive customer engagement. However, with over half of teens and adolescents being a victim on cyberbullying, I can’t help but seriously question whether or not reactions are a good idea.

Facebook CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg is undoubtably a smart businesses man. I am sure Zuckerberg and his team discussed the possible outcomes and that bullying was a major factor in their decisions. But still, how is Facebook going to stop the negative reactions that will undeniably happen?

In addition, bullying is really only half of the problem. Many people don’t want to share their views and opinions online by commenting on world issues and other topics. They prefer to be bystanders either for their own reasons, or just purely because we all know posting opinions on social media can kill a reputation. But “Liking” something, however, is simple. It’s a way of saying you enjoy or support whatever the article is about without really committing to it. You know that some people on your friends list will probably see that you liked it, but not all. Most likely it won’t start an online feud. And the best part? It’s such a simple, mindless task.

With that being said, how many times have you seen something mean, depressing or tragic on Facebook and wished there was a “dislike” button? I can say that for me, it’s been too many times to count. Selecting “Dislike” would be just as simple as selecting “Like.” But instead, us bystanders just move on to the next post without giving our input. Now that people can just as easily select other emotions, it will give us an even deeper look into who they really are.

Now, when there’s an article about a sensitive topic, you can see who’s responded empathetically, or who thinks it’s a joke. In a way, it’s like publicly voting for the world to see.

So what do you think of the new Facebook reactions? Love, angry, sad? Let me know in the comments!

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Posted by Ariel Valley

Web designer, writer, social media lover and inbound marketer at Catch22 Marketing. Also known as a professional coffee taster, shoe enthusiast and film buff. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter @ariel_valley.

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