Lovable gazillionaire Mark Zuckerberg has announced that Facebook is working on adding a “dislike” button to the social media site. Users have been requesting it for years, as it would enable them to express empathy about bad news. Until it arrives, here’s our handy 10-point etiquette guide to “liking” stuff on social networks.
1 Holiday snaps: Show-offy pics of beaches, infinity pools, sundowner cocktails or hot-dog legs – especially if accompanied by a “not a bad view this morning” or “my office for the week” caption – should on no account be liked. It just encourages them. Instead, leave a “don’t worry about the weather forecast and try to enjoy yourself!”-style comment to induce anxiety and dial down their smugness.
2 How far they’ve just run/swum/cycled: Use the comments to remind them they used to be fun. Follow with a winking face emoji to pretend you’re joking.
3 Wedding pics: If you were there, no need to “like” – your presence and its attendant vast expense was enough. If you weren’t there, bitterly press “like” in lieu of a wedding present. Gits.
4 Inspirational quotes superimposed on sunsets: Only one correct response here: slag off the font.
5 Bad news: When a friend posts something truly sad, such as serious illness or the death of a loved one, pressing neither “like” nor “dislike” is enough. Only a heartfelt comment, free of abbreviations or emojis, does the job. Better still, take it offline. Beneath the avatars, we’re still human.
6 Selfies: Unless they’re drunken friends with their sweaty faces stuck together, selfies are fishing for compliments. Instead of pressing “like” or paying the compliment, pick up on an irrelevant background detail, such as “is that the Kakamas branch of Nando’s?” or “your skirting board could do with dusting, lol”.
7 Humblebrags: Ah, false modesty. “Felt so out of my depth at the 100 most influential people party!!!” The best response is still a knowing #humblebrag. Not too mean, yet it shows you’re on to them.
8 Food pics: Burger shots, avocado-based brunches, anything involving the nonword “nom”? Simply respond with full details of your latest bowel movement. That’ll learn ’em.
9 Earnest causes: “Like” is obviously inappropriate for deaths, disasters and refugee crises. If you wish to acknowledge that you appreciated the post, settle for a thoughtful comment or link to somewhere that can help.
10 Baby pics: Never respond, in any form. The new parent will notice and your indifference will gnaw away at them until you have a blazing row about it. Hey, that’s what social networks are for. You’ll laugh about it in 18 years. Possibly. – © Guardian News & Media 2015