Thursday, May 28, 2015

Like button alternatives

You know when you think you've heard about something, but you can't remember exactly what, when, where, or from whom? This pretty much sums up my life these days. I am approaching 40. I don't remember much. That being said, I do remember hearing something about the fact that "they" were working on alternatives to the "like" buttons on social media. Well, can "they" hurry the f#$% up because I need more and I need it now.

Everyday I see posts about achievements, kids, healthy recipes, and interesting things my friends have discovered, and I "like" all of those things. My issue is that there is also some pretty weird sh!t out there that I would like to acknowledge, but that I do not necessarily want to "like." This is where the alternatives come in.

My suggestions for alternatives to the "like" or "favorite" buttons:

"WTF??": The "what the f#$k??" button is so simple and so incredibly multi-purpose. Marc Maron gets it. It can mean WTF are you talking about? Or WTF is wrong with you that you think we want to know this? Or it can mean, I'm gonna laugh along with your craziness, why not, eh, WTF. It can also acknowledge the item being shared itself is strange, as in, WTF was that hypnotic video of people in puppy costumes brushing their teeth whilst dancing to a Taylor Swift tune? "WTF?" works magic in the blank space left by the "like" button.

"So sorry": My condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss. I didn't know your uncle, but I am saddened to hear of his passing. While I like to hear what a great man he was and how much he meant to your family, I don't actually want to "like" this since that kind of makes it seem that I "like" that he's dead. I don't. Most of us don't. So how about a sympathy button instead? Also comes in handy for broken bones, cars, marriages, etc.

"Hug"/"Eyeroll": We all know the posts: "I guess I should have known better" or "So done. Never again!" Vague enough to leave us concerned and begging for more, or vague enough to make us roll our eyes. Whichever your preference, it's definitely not something deserving of a "like."
For those that go the route of a desperate "what happened??" in the comments section, you should be able to send a "hug."
For those who wonder what it's about for a split second before getting angry at the person for Vaguebooking, you should be able to let them know you are rolling your eyes at them.
Or we can just stick with our respective comments: "Hope you're ok hun!" OR "Man the F@#$ up"

"Meh": Which is to say, you could do better. Hey, I know your kids quite well at this point. You post pictures of them three times a day. So how about a little quality control over there? You know you don't have to post pictures of your kids all the time, right? (No, obviously you don't know that). Why not save it until you have a good picture of your kid. I'm not saying every photo you post has to be frame-ready, but four days in a row of your kids in their pjs in the morning... why? They haven't brushed their hair. Weirdly I can tell that they haven't brushed their teeth. And I have seen them looking better. So maybe just filter the photos for ones you think people would like to see, not your kid with something half hanging out of his nose. I'm not going to "like" that. No one should. If a photo is merely "meh," I'm not going to share it. By that same token, I should be able to prompt someone to take a closer look at their output by letting them know they are capable of better.

Oh sure, the impromptu Frozen concert 18" in front of this guy was amazingly funny to watch, but I just didn't think anyone else really wanted to see it... well, not really, cause I did end up posting it here then, didn't I?

He looked so funny and uncomfortable, but also so comfortable. I showed my husband, but stopped short of sharing cause, well, I dunno... because we all need to filter and not everything needs to be shared. 

"FFS": Personally, I don't think social media is the place for serious socio-political debate. And yet in many a comments section, major debates ensue. The tone of these often takes a downturn. Neither side of the debate is helped by the bitter rantings of two nasty extremists yelling their opinions (read: insults) in heated clips of a comments section. So, rather than engage the person who just found a way to insult jewish people on a comments thread about the best place to get a platter of turkey wraps, just hit them with a quick: "For F@#$ Sake"... and subsequently try to work it into conversation with any mutual friends you have that so-and-so is an absolute jerk.

"Mmmmm": I have a love/hate relationship with food porn. Sometimes I want to see pictures of your food, other times I don't. The fact is I am hungry all the time. So why not gaze longingly at some tasty looking food. If it is special enough, then I want to be able to tell you it looks good. And that's where "mmmmm" comes in.

"Yawn": On the flip side, sometimes you post some average looking dishes which just don't do it for me. Even worse, sometimes you don't even treat me to a picture of your food and I just get a play by play of your fairly uneventful day. By the seventh post of you "sitting in traffic... still," I should be able to convey that we've heard enough from you today. You are boring and the fact that you ate a cheese sandwich for lunch does nothing for me. You will know this by the "yawn."

"Yikes": There are too many overshare statuses out there. To "like" them is to suggest I wanted to know about your toenail fungus or the strangeness of the location of your ingrown hair. I don't want to know that. "Why do you think anyone really cares?" could also work, but would be much harder to fit on a button.

"BRAG": I've said it before and I'll say it again, sometimes we are Blatantly Reveling in our own Arrogant Grandioseness. Not to be confused with a #humblebrag, the kingpin of online bragging, a #BRAG should be owned and enjoyed. Appreciate your awesomeness for a second and allow us to acknowledge you have something worth bragging about. If your post contains: "not to toot my own horn" or something like that, chances are you're aware that this thing is worth bragging about. If you are not aware, rather than "like" it, I would rather BRAG about it. Consider it a slightly less religious "Preach!" And if you are humblebragging, I should be able to call you out on it with a sarcastic tap of the "BRAG" button.

That being said, I am not tech savvy in the least. I don't know how to make buttons. I definitely don't know how to get said buttons integrated onto the very popular social media platforms. If I did, I would also develop an algorithm to partially block the annoying people that bug the sh!t out of me most of the time, but which somehow allows the 5% of their posts that genuinely interest me through. Alas, I can't. But someone could. Someone should. Someone must. That would be something worth Likesing.