When The “Like” Button Feels Completely Inappropriate

I’ve been watching CNN for the last twenty-four hours, keeping up on the recent massacre in Aurora, Colorado. Though the media really hasn’t allowed much other news to be reported anyway, no matter what channel your watching. Occasionally we see an update about the fighting in Syria, which has reached the capital, Damascus. Is the end finally near?

As CNN flashed a shot of one of the victim’s father’s Facebook page, expressing his grief and horror in the recent death of his daughter, you see at the bottom of his post twenty plus “likes”. Granted, I understand that when people are clicking the “like” button in this instance, they’re expressing their sorrow and condolences to the father, but there’s something very off putting seeing that ubiquitous little “thumbs up” icon that we’ve all become so used to clicking to express our appreciation for a brand, product, band, or friend’s recent vacation photo.

There’s no getting around the use of social media for our collective society to express their feelings of joy or sadness online. There’s really nothing necessarily wrong with that. But perhaps we need an alternative icon to click on in situations of death, sickness, peril and national mourning. I’m hardly suggesting a “thumbs down” approach, or an upside down smiley face. I have to believe that there are some very creative designers out there that could design a button that expresses one sympathies appropriately without the need to give it a “thumbs up”.


  1. Your obnoxious pop ups make your page completely unreadable for mobile users. You have this floating toolbar that gives youevery to tweet, like, +1, etc, then anotherpop that daysays have a question? And it blocks your entire page. It’s SO obnoxious, and it’s ironic that you’re writing an article with the problems with social media, but you yourself don’t realize that a huge percentage of people no longer read articles like this on a laptop or pc, just about everyone these days read from a smartphone. Considering that I’m using a galaxy s3 with the most current version of Android,i doubt it’s a problem with my phone, it’s that you don’t know your own audience. Fire your Web page designer and hire someone younger. Without knowing anything at all about your company,i know that your Web page designer is 40 years old or older, sold you on his degree on Web page design (an associates degree) but he himself doesn’t have a smartphone, which should be a huge red flag for you. I’d love to have read your article, but can’t. It’s a miracle that i could even post this comment. I’m guessing your moderator will delete it before you see it to save his job before you realize I’m right and you need to upgrade.