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Facebook Unveils Reactions, A Redesigned Like Button

Every possible life milestone now unfolds on Facebook, including engagement, wedding, birth (both pet and human), and death announcements, but as Facebook’s role in our lives has expanded, “liking” has become an increasingly tricky business. How many times have you hesitantly thumbs-upped a heartrending post about the death of a coworker’s beloved Shih Tzu? Or longed for a “love” button to show your support for your friend’s wedding pics?


As always, Mark Zuckerberg heard your prayers. Today, Facebook unveiled five new reaction buttons: “love,” “haha,” “wow,” “sad,” and “angry.” They’re like Snow White’s modern-day, social media dwarves! The new reactions, some expressed with emoji-esque faces, can be accessed by “long pressing” the like button. Voilà—you can now express your full range of emotions via Facebook. The possibilities are endless, but also potentially incendiary. Here, a brief guide to venturing beyond the like and astutely using the new buffet of Facebook reactions.

Love: The much-longed-for option for chubby baby photos, engagement ring reveals, and newly adopted kittens has finally arrived. Use liberally but thoughtfully; if overused, the love button runs the risk of making a “like” look tepid (i.e., liking rather than loving a birth announcement could speak volumes).

Haha: It was prudent of Facebook to have chosen this in lieu of the more disingenuous “LOL” (how often are we laughing out loud, really?). Best used for viral videos and listicles about not being able to walk out of Target without spending less than $250. Remember that “haha” may also be most effective when used sarcastically.

Wow: Treat “wow” as the ultimate in compliments; reserve it for drastic haircuts and vanilla-sky vacation photos.

Sad: Now you can appropriately react to stirring posts from friends sharing their grief over the loss of a loved one and depressing news stories; at last, you won’t be forced to “like” new studies confirming the gender pay gap.

Angry: Facebook decided against a “dislike” button, but angry isn’t too far off, especially in the Wild West of a presidential election year. Inhale, exhale, and remember it’s best to ignore posts from political adversaries than hastily press “angry.”

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