Facebook Reactions range from Wow to Angry, but not Dislike

Santa Claus has Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. Oh, and Rudolph, too.

Snow White has the Seven Dwarfs: Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Happy, Grumpy and Dopey.

And as of Wednesday, Facebook, has the emotions you want to use most. Or, rather, Facebook calls these “Reactions,” because the “Like” button apparently wasn’t emotional enough.

Like is still there, but joining it in this clickable Rat Pack of feelings are Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. Now, instead of just ignoring, or hiding, that insane political post from your brother-in-law, or just saying “OMG!” when your college roommate puts up a picture of her adorable new baby, you can really say what you want with one of the new Reactions. Wow, indeed.

The way it works is pretty simple. On your smartphone or tablet, you hold down the Like button, and all the other Reactions will appear, allowing you to choose the one you want. If you are going old school, and are on your desktop or laptop PC, the Reactions will show up when you hover your pointer over the Like option.

Reactions come about in, well, reaction to one of the things Facebook users had been wanting for years: a dislike button. But Facebook, in its never-ending quest to create one harmonious worldwide “community” under the thumbs-up symbol, didn’t include a dislike button as part of the new Reactions. In his own Facebook post about the new Reactions, company Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said this morning that Facebook users had been clamoring for a dislike button “but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts.”

Oh…So in the language that is Facebookese, to “dislike” doesn’t mean you don’t like something? Maybe it’s the equivalent of saying something is “sick” when you mean “awesome”? According to Zuckerberg, the etymology behind “dislike” comes from the belief that “People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions.”

All those emotions, apparently, except the one they really feel when they dislike something. Yet Zuckerberg, sounding like he just read a Nicholas Sparks novel, said that so far, “Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me!”

For the record, as of the time of this post, Zuckerberg’s own statement on Reactions had been Liked  208, 000 times, Loved 25,000 times, gotten 17,000 Wows, received 5,700 Hahas, gotten 4,400 Angrys and was considered to be Sad 1,700 times.

Photo: Facebook’s Like button is getting some company, as the social network rolls out alternatives worldwide after testing in a few countries. (Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)


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