A 'Dislike' Button is Coming Soon as Our Annoyance Gets Turned Up
Let's talk about the updates that have come / are coming to our favorite mind-numbing apps. First things first, I want to talk about Snapchat. Remember when the app first went mainstream? All you did was snap an ugly selfie and then boom you sent it off to the people who you deemed "worthy" enough to see such hideousness. For up to 10 seconds they got a quick laugh. Genius, right? ...Hardly. Then they introduced a video feature. Same concept, same idea in video format, because obviously sending a sneaky picture of your tits wasn't enough now we have to send a video of it like it's some kind of quick porn commercial. I mean that's what the app was originally for, right? Started by two men Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy as an idea for their project at Stanford University in 2011, they said upon launch, "Snapchat isn't about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It's about communicating with the full range of human emotion - not just what appears to be pretty or perfect." Oh please. These were two horny college men that thought it would be cute and a fun idea to send provocative pictures across a cellular device, without making the pics or video become permanent on someone else's phone. It was a way to send an infamous dick pic, without actually sending a dick pic. Let's not shy away from what the app's original intended purpose was - please.
As it gained in popularity, we were introduced with updates after updates. We were given the feature to draw and write text, and then the selfie filters came. The only thing I applaud Snapchat with is pulling the vain aspect of our internal subconscious to the forefront of our everyday lives. Snapchat was the pioneer force in what has become the global selfie phenomenon. I mean, the new iPhone 6S has a new 'Take Selfie' button. The practice of taking a selfie is probably a morning ritual in Botswana, where internet capabilities are non-existent. It's that damn popular. Leading us right into this new update that has within the past 24 hours spread like a wildfire in a California drought. Anyways, you hold down the screen as you're opening your mouth and a few things happen: you can look like the Wicked Witch of the West, you can puke rainbows (aka a firsthand look when drag queens get too drunk), and then your eyes can pop out as if you were in a Ripley's Believe It or Not book. Now why would anyone think this is a good update? Beats me, but nonetheless people are sending them back and forth causing the trend to go viral. None of these features are breakthroughs by any means, but yet the seemingly boring lives of the general public aren't thrilled with their daily lives so now we send stupid nonsense to one another in an attempt to look even more retarded and dumb. It makes me question a lot of things - to say the least.
Now, because let's be honest we all knew it was going to happen, Snapchat is introducing a monthly payment option that allows you to pay a fee to replay the Snap's sent to you. Wtf? I thought the whole point of this app was to not replay these things and it was a one-time surprise experience like being a guest on Ellen. Seriously? Didn't we already have an app that allowed people to replay stupid GIF-like bullshit over and over again? Oh yeah it was Vine (which lasted about a good 6 months) and people are still trying to make it a thing when quite honestly it will never be a thing. No one has time nor the energy to sit and watch you fall on your face, watch your freaky cats, hear your stupid rendition of "Uptown Funk," or just in general you spending your entire day making videos in hope you'll become a 15-second viral sensation. We don't want to replay it on Vine, so why would we pay to do it on Snapchat? This seems like a simple question, but low and behold the company will make a couple of million dollars for all the people out there that want to watch someone's cum shot over and over again. No thank you.
These apps are getting out of control, they really are. I'm the first one on board for ground-breaking things which is why I loved Snapchat to begin with. It was a quick and fun way to connect with your friends on the go. Then it turned into a popularity contest with the best friends list and then they took that feature away, because people's feelings were getting hurt too often. That's what happens when you give 11-year old girls smartphones and link your credit card to their Apple Store account. Duh.
The newest thing on the map is Facebook telling the world the 'Dislike' button is a feature that's coming soon. This is a feature that has been tossed back and forth for the past couple of years and now Mark Zuckerberg says they've finally got it right? How do you finally get a dislike button right? It's just a fucking button? You put it up next to the like button and then when I see someone type their diary-like posts out like it's some daytime Soap Opera I can hit dislike. Oh but wait - Zuckerberg says, "It's unclear whether it's actually going to be called 'dislike' [as the] button. The tool wouldn't be for expressing disdain for posts. Instead, it would be showing empathy for posts that seem inappropriate to 'Like,' such as news of natural disasters or loved ones dying." Yeah... okay. He goes on in the interview to say, "Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to be able to 'say that thing isn't good' and we [people at Facebook] aren't going to do that. I don't think that's socially very valuable, or great for the community." Hmm. Well hate to break it to you Zuckerberg, but inevitably that's what's going to happen. It's the inevitable law of social media: you give people the smallest power to criticize and complain about another person, they will turn it into a Black Friday free-for-all and pour everything they have into it until there's nothing left for them to bitch about. I'm going to give an example of common sense ethics, ready? Example: We want to make guns available to everyone for their own personal needs, but we don't want guns to "harm" anyone. The people using them need to be "socially acceptable" with them, because if they aren't that wouldn't be great for the community. No shit Zuckerberg. What do you think this dislike button is going to do? Is it going to be used just for natural disasters and loved ones dying? Hell no.
These people that sit behind their computer screens that wake up every morning bored behind their cubicles, miserable with their own life choices will twist that 'Dislike' button into a self-loathing way to spread even more hate than they already do. I'm sure the millions of people that post hateful comments and go about doing their own way of "disliking" someone's posts or injecting their unasked opinions about a topic will use this new button EXACTLY the way you intend for them to use it. Just because that's not what the button is meant for doesn't mean they won't use it that way. Does Zuckerberg know how many people loathe and can't wait to dislike all the stupid shit people post to his website? Millions. I can tell you if anyone on the planet has to see one more twerking video, sorority girl freaking out because people want to know if she had pants on or not (put on some real shorts bitch and stop wearing a 5XXXXXL tee-shirt and we won't think that), or another "Hit the Quan" freestyle video - we as an Internet community - will fucking scream. It's gotten old and it's gotten boring. So go ahead and introduce this button, the keyboard Nazi's (as I call them) are waiting. Those mother fuckers are waiting to rip everyone's basic posts to pieces. I can't say I blame them, but Zuckerberg let's call it like it is and not sugarcoat you're precious little feature into something that it's not or will never be.
Instead of working on a feature that's absolutely ridiculous and a feature that honestly doesn't add anything to the website, let's work on updating Facebook and giving it a whole new redesign?! Omg! But apparently that's too hard, because adding a 'Dislike' button is something that's taking them two years to make, so a complete update is completely out of the question. I'll be living on Mars before Facebook gets it shit together. I have an idea, let's make Facebook a place that your users want to be able to go to every day. Instead it's a place that's in-grained in our psyche we go to out of habitual impulse as a result of our boredom. But this is the fundamental reason why Facebook is so popular, so why change it?
Let's go back to the beginning of Facebook shall we? First it was intended for the ever exclusive Ivy League students. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc. Then they let it open to every college campus in the United States. (Okay that can work) Then they wanted to give Facebook to high-schoolers. Now these are 14 and 15-year olds with the same tools and social media rules that they were targeting college students with? Red flag number one. Then they said fuck this exclusivity shit and we will give it to EVERYONE like it was some type of Oprah episode. Give it to your mother, your father, your dog, cat, fish, unborn child, fuck give Facebook to the Pope. And this was the downfall of the Facebook as we knew it. You turned something cool and new and made it too mainstream. The general public fucked it so hard it turned into a disgusting experience. If you're not graduating high school or college forget it no one cares, if you didn't get a good deal on a Honda Civic ehhh nobody cares either, and if you didn't pop out your 12th baby fuck it no one gives two shits. Facebook is the new Walmart for Social Media - everything is at a low price, low cost with very low expectations with almost no values at all. Facebook, let's take all this random boring nonsense that you were SO against from the beginning and make a spinoff app which you can sign up to document the life and time's of the American basics. (If that's what you're into, I mean awesome.) Get Facebook back to where it was when you first started it - a cool and engaging way to connect with people like you in your similar social circles, same lifestyles, and who share similar interests with. I know, I know you tell me you've connected with you're long lost high-school buddy that lives in fucking Norway and it's awesome at keeping up to date with their lives. Okay great, get each other's email's and book a trip to enjoy one another's company. This Facebook I'm fine with, it's the Facebook that takes that idea and turns it over on it's head whereas you get sucked into a black-hole of bullshit. Remove the family plan (Verizon's already got you beat on that) and make another app that offers it - Fambook or some shit.
I can sit here and tell you all the reasons that Facebook is wrong, but the truth is it will never change and it will never die. Why? Facebook has capitalized itself on the boring live's of the general public. It presents a way to share and post everything you wouldn't normally want to say and think into an empty abyss, because at the end of the day we all feel entitled. We all think our pictures are the coolest, our opinions are the best, our status' are the most important, etc. In reality no one of us is better than the other, but with Facebook that simply isn't true, because as the likes go up so does my ego and the more likes I have the better I am. (The 2015-Facebook-user-mentality) It's a popularity contest of the basics, and I'm very interested to see how this new 'Dislike' button will flip that concept on it's head and I can't wait to see what will unfold. My bet is the feature will get pulled in less than a year.
As the social media trend shows no signs of slowing down I have one very important reminder to all these developers. Maintain a sense of dignity. Don't dumb yourself down just to have the most users or so you can shoot up on the Dow Jones. My best friend and I were talking about this concept the other day and he said, "When things become mainstream it's like it gets infected with a viral disease waiting for it to be ruined." Instagram, he was talking to you. You've managed to maintain a sense of cool. Don't fall into the mundane and boring traps your other social media predecessors have fallen into. Please.