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Thumbs Up—Learning the Hazards of Facebook Emoticons


Facebook Emoticons, courtesy of Free Vector.

by Michael John Scott

This is a tale of Facebook and the tools they offer to enhance your traveling experience. Yes, they provide emoticons, but not all are appropriate for every situation.  On the contrary, there are seven primary expressions of emotion, and finding the right one in response to a comment or a posting can be quite the challenge unless of course, you don’t give a shit about the writer, which is often the case on FB.

For example, I read a post earlier today from someone I have never heard of, but who ended up in my News Feed likely because he was a ‘friend’ of a ‘friend.’  He wrote a rather good piece about the politics of the time, except he didn’t appear to express the courage of his convictions given that he acknowledged the Big Lie was indeed a Big Lie, but not the damage it caused and was still causing to the country.

The question is do I give him a thumbs-up because I agree with him, or because I like the fact that he posted at all?  Such situations offer quite the conundrum.  I liked that he acknowledged the Big Lie, but I didn’t like it that he refused to condemn it.  So, is he a Trumper, or a Never-Trumper who doesn’t want anyone to know he is either?

Perhaps I should just ignore it like I ignore the rambling words of so many other graduates of the FB Schools of Law, Politics, Medicine, and etc, unfortunately, some of them are ‘friends,’ not in the strict sense of the word, but you know what I mean.  They are fellow FB travelers, who from time to time drop their words like an oak drops its leaves.

I recently moved away from writing about politics, once a favorite hobby, into a more comfortable, and much happier realm and that is dogs.  All dogs, all the time.  I opened up a FB group that encourages fellow dog lovers to join and/or post their pups, and within a couple of months, I had 210 members.

I have no problem giving those who contribute a thumbs-up, or, more often than not, a ‘heart,’ or a ‘care’ emoticon.  From time to time, someone will post a funny picture of their dog, or an amusing caption, and I will post a laughing face, or, in the case of a picture of a Belgian Malinois climbing a tree, a ‘WOW’ emoticon.  I don’t recall ever posting an angry face at anything that had been posted.

On my dog page, it’s not hard to make a decision about how to respond to posts and comments but that happy attitude doesn’t apply to my other FB page, the personal one, about all manner of political crazy, or general news that speaks to the state of the world.  You see, friends post all manner of things and they show up in my News Feed where I read them, and respond with an emoticon, or a comment, or usually both. Therein lies the rub: how to respond, as responding, in some way, fashion, or form, is expected.

If I vigorously agree with what the writer said I might be tempted to leave a ‘heart,’ but what if the writer is a man?  Will he think I’m gay for posting a heart?  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you catch my drift. How about I just leave a ‘care’ face?  Nothing wrong with caring is there, but what if the author thinks I’m ‘caring’ because I feel sorrow or pity for them and am worried about their immediate future?

How about the lonesome tear?  Do you leave the ‘sobbing’ face because you are moved by the post, or because you are sad and disappointed for the one who wrote or provided it?  Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The hardest choice of all is the ‘angry’ face.  If you post the snarling red image of an angry devil does that mean you are angry at the person for writing it; angry because you vehemently disagree with every word, or you just don’t like the writer at all, and what he or she posts pisses you off?  The ‘laughing’ and ‘wow’ faces can have the same effect.  What do you do?  So many decisions.

In conclusion, I usually leave a thumbs-up in appreciation of the fact that it was written in the first place, and/or that I agree.  It would be rare for me to not acknowledge, in some form or other, the words of my friends, FB, and actual.

I could go on and on, but then I would violate my own preference for shorter columns, and perhaps I would earn an angry face.  I most cases I prefer the heart or care emoticons, as they demonstrate a fond appreciation for me and what I wrote, but when all else fails just leave a ‘thumbs-up,’ and allow me to analyze the hidden meanings.


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Posted by on July 14, 2021. Filed under COMMENTARY/NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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10 days ago

I stopped facebooking when they banned me for saying ‘Trumo sucks.

Howard T.
11 days ago

Dang Mike. Did you take a pill or something? You’re writing some good shit, like every day. Keep it up dude!!