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’s sympathies appropriately without the need to give it a “thumbs up”.