You’re scrolling though Facebook when all of a sudden a post of your friend’s brother’s cousin’s grandfather passing surfaces on your news feed. Unpleasant news of this nature poses a major dilemma in the millennial mind: what’s the appropriate reaction?
‘Liking’ it would be weird as hell, and your status as a fourth degree of separation from the deceased negates anything meaningful offered by a comment. But you have to do something.
Alas, after years of debate, Mark Zuckerberg is ready to offer a solution: the ‘Dislike’ button.
“Today is a special day because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,” said Zuckerberg in a recent Q&A.
Recognizing that life is but a series of ups and downs – with people just as eager to share their layoffs, breakups, and news of beheadings as they are latte art and squad goals – Zuckerberg acknowledged “what [users] really want is the ability to express empathy.”
In practice, what it really does is offer users a more nuanced way to express their disappointment, inviting an element of negativity that Zuckerberg has long avoided by stalling on a ‘Dislike’ button.
“Not every moment is a good moment,” he said in the recent announcement. Indeed – and we can’t wait to be the judge of that distinction.