Cited in Yahoo Health – Why Facebook’s Upcoming ‘Dislike’ Button is a ‘Like’ for Mental Health

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 8.30.18 AMIs upcoming Facebook dislike button a good thing?

Answering the call of fans to allow an easy way to acknowledge bad news and show support apart from a ‘like,’ Facebook announced Tuesday a forthcoming ‘dislike’ button. This new feature will allow readers to easily convey empathy and understanding to posters sharing bad news or sensitive topics that pull for compassion and empathy. Likewise knowing friends can show support with a simple click of a ‘dislike’ button (though it won’t be called ‘dislike’) could embolden posters to share more sensitive or vulnerable topics. But allowing a negative reply of any sort is of course tricky, and Facebook is mindful of striking the right tone to make sure this new feature promotes empathy, rather than negative evaluation.

I was very pleased to help out on this great article by Korin Miller for Yahoo Health.

Experts agree that Facebook is smart to focus more on empathy because an actual “dislike” button creates the potential for online bullying and negativity.

Once the feature rolls out, licensed clinical psychologist Alicia Clark, PsyD, tells Yahoo Health that you can probably expect to see a little more negativity and less “Facebook perfect” posts in your news feed: “I think people might be more willing to put up more negative, vulnerable events in their life,” she says.

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Alicia H. Clark, PsyD