It seems lots of us are finding ourselves in awkward Facebook situations lately. We log in, planning to mind our own business and just poke around the site for 10 minutes, and then we read a status update like, "Life is horrible at the moment. Need cheap divorce lawyer. Totally screwed up this time, but at least I know it."
Okaaay. So maybe part of you feels like you should support your "friend" and at least show him or her that you approve of the ability to recognize one's own screw-ups. But you can't press the "like" button because, well, what exactly are you "liking"? The fact that he's getting a divorce? Facebook knows your friends are oversharing way, way too much. And it has a potential solution for that.
No, you will not be seeing a "dislike" button on the social networking site anytime soon -- too mean-spirited for them, I guess. But you might be able to click on a "sympathize" button, which would replace the thumbs-up "like" button, as long as the person who posts his or her sad message includes a negative emoticon next to the update.
Listen, the best thing in the entire world would still be if people chose to log off Facebook and call a real friend when going through a divorce, nasty breakup, miscarriage, or any number of other terrible, horrible life experiences. At the same time, I understand that Facebook provides comfort for some who actually feel a lot better after receiving encouraging responses from others who have found themselves in similar awful situations.
The bottom line is: people are only sharing more, not less. And if you feel like it's impolite to ignore a friend's update about her divorce or deceased beloved pet, but don't have anything truly meaningful to contribute by writing a response, the "sympathize" button is going to come in handy.
How do you handle it when Facebook friends post sad, extremely personal status updates? Do you think the "sympathize" button will help?
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