“What they really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment.” –Mark Zuckerberg
“Sir, you don’t know the half of what you have just unleashed on this world. This is the same Internet that has Michael Jordan crying in perpetuity and has rendered Kermit the Frog a gossiping, hating, tea-sipping tadpole.”— Kyra Kyles
Hide your vacay photos. Stash your selfies. Revise your statuses about race, politics, and gender.
The “dislike” button is on the way, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and here’s betting that the legion of super sensitive, self-aggrandizing citizens of social media are not prepared.
For so long (perhaps too long) the social network has been a warm, fuzzy refuge of sorts, with friends and followers blanketing us from the harsh realities that abound in stranger-danger spaces, including Twitter.
No more, though! Coming soon, in addition to clicking “like” or ignoring your emotional arse altogether, your timeline has a new option that looks like a harsh thumbs-down salute, no chaser.
I’m a little surprised it happened, despite longtime calls for its existence by folks who probably have no idea what they have wrought on themselves and their peers.
Despite what Zuckerberg is telling us, he’s got to know that this tool will not be used for good.
There is zero, perhaps even negative, chill on social media in general and anyone can get it. Anyone. Take a look no further than this poor child, who has now been remade as the Patron Saint of Perpetual Side Eye.
Consider that a touching son-to-mother MVP moment for a tearful Kevin Durant is now fodder for meaningless, mom-less jokes about anything and everything.
When is the last time you’ve heard “you the real MVP” in the heart-melting manner in which it was intended?
I didn’t think so.
Babies who bear vague resemblance to celebrities are roasted. (My thoughts are with you John Legend and Loretta Devine-esque infants).
One wrong word or phrase can take you from casual commenter to public pariah. And we all know what happens to celebrities on every single red carpet.
**moment of silence for the death of their collective dignity**
So, why on earth would Zuckerberg or any other sentient being, believe that a button with a real-life thumbs down could be used in any way other than relentlessly and roastfully?
Seriously, y’all better go back through your timeline and get your affairs in order, whether it’s that ill-advised (duck-lipped) group photo with your work friends, grammar-challenged rant against close relatives or that “introducing the new bae” via in-a-relationship-with foolery.
Prepare to be more cautious with your political messages, mansplaining, whitesplaining, or any other type of ‘splaining that usually netted a casual “ignore.”
Steel your feelings against ACTUAL FACTUAL thoughts about those new shoes you spent your paycheck on, that couch you installed in your home office and even that “hot fire” track you and your half-broken laptop have been toiling over for months. Let’s not even deal with the food photos right now. You know damn well that plate you so proudly displayed looks like puppy chow, broken dreams and wasted opportunities…and that’s being diplomatic.
This announcement is a game-changer, people. Come Dislike Day, every one of us has to be ready. The poet Robert Frost once penned that he could see the world ending in fire or ice, but old Frosty didn’t count on a third option.
And until Zuckerberg’s revelation, neither did we. Neither. Did. We.
Kyra Kyles is the head of ebony.com and jetmag.com. You can get @ with this digital diva on social media via thekylesfiles on Twitter or Facebook. Oh yeah, and feel free to send social media / tech etiquette questions and grievances to her via firstname.lastname@example.org. She just might tackle them for the next “Social Studies.”