You must have faced this dilemma a hundred times in the past few years. There are statuses just too sensitive to hit the 'Like' button. How do you react to the news of the death of a friend's aunt on Facebook without looking like a total jerk? With social media increasingly taking over our private space - at the dinner table, during conversations, in the bedroom and at work - the pressure to commiserate is just too great for Facebook to ignore at the moment.
This was first reported by The Huffington Post which quoted a Facebook engineer as saying that the social network has "informally experimented with an alternative to 'like' - specifically, the 'sympathize' button".
The demand and need for a button less upbeat than the 'Like' is ever growing since users complained of the awkwardness of 'liking' someone's sombre status - the death of a pet, the rant against a parent or a traumatic break up. Between a comment and being seen as an insensitive idiot - the options are limited at the moment.
How do you react to the news of the death of a friend's aunt on Facebook without appearing to be a total jerk?
The report said that another Facebook engineer, Dan Muriello, said at aCompassion Research Day event, if a person chose a negative emotion like 'sad' or 'depressed' from Facebook's fixed list of feelings, the 'like' button would be relabeled 'sympathize.'
Facebook toyed with a 'sympathize' button at their hackathon but the 'dislike' button might not happen anytime soon.
The Huffington Post quoted a Facebook spokesman as saying that some of their best ideas came from hackathons.
"The many ideas that don't get pursued often help us think differently about how we can improve our service," he said.
Earlier, product engineer Bob Baldwin had said that the 'dislike' button wasn't happening any time soon. If Facebook can stick to it's words, it's a great decision, really. A dislike button on a social networking site that has hundreds of thousands of young users - many of them struggling with body image issues - will be a trigger for negativity.
Facebook mothers will be a formidable group that will put up a spirited fight with the 'dislike' button linked to their daily stream of baby pictures. If you weren't born during the World War II, simply imagine 'disliking' a baby's photo.