If you spend any time at all on Facebook (and most of my readership does!) then you will not have been able to miss the continuing debate on the 'Dislike' button on Facebook.
For a long time, people have been requesting the opportunity to 'dislike' a post rather than only like it. Several reasons have been given:
- People want to be able to express sympathy when somebody publishes bad news. Saying that you 'like' hearing about the death of somebody's loved one, for example, always seems unfortunate.
- People wanted to be able express anger and annoyance at posts with which they fundamentally disagreed. For example, if a new law is passed or some politician makes a statement which a person does not support - a dislike button would be helpful.
However - Facebook, and many supporters, argue that a dislike button is too open to abuse and creates a negative aspect not needed in the social community. Young people are particularly vulnerable, and if a person consistently received 'dislikes' for every post, the damage to self esteem would be intolerable. Cyber-bullying is a reality and without going into too much detail here I can also say that children who are on the receiving end of such things become vulnerable to predatory adults and extremist groups who may be the only ones who seem to 'like' them.
Facebook is trialling a set of emoticons which will allow people to express a number of emotions, from sadness to amazement - but there is resolutely NO dislike button.
What do I think?
As a parent, and as a psychologist, I can tell you that it is very true that people of all ages seek validation from others. It is part of human nature and has an evolutionary benefit. If we do what fits in with the crowd and enables us to be accepted by them, we are more likely to survive.
However, the world has always needed risk takers. Society only flourishes because a few individuals have stood up and said - "I don't care what you think and you can call me foolish if you like - I am going to do this anyway."
Obviously - this can lead to people doing terrible things and society has to pull them into line. But it can also lead to people doing wonderful things and society, in the end, has to be thankful.
Entrepreneurs are more like the latter breed. They are different in that they are able to take risks and step into the unknown DESPITE the criticism. The entrepreneurial mindset is focused on the bigger goals and the inner drive. It does not require permission or validation from others.
Will I use Facebook Reactions?
Of course I will. I actually quite like the idea and I am glad there is not a 'dislike' button. However - I will use it in the following way:
- Create a variety of content which will entertain, cause emotional reactions, and 'edusell'.
- Encourage interaction via the use of the new buttons, so that there is engagement with my content and brand and traffic comes to my offers.
- Analyse which kind of content brings the greatest engagement, viral sharing, and traffic back to my offers (we will be able to track this now by looking directly at the different types of expression clicked!).
- Rinse and repeat.
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