How to use Facebook reactions without embarrassing yourself.


Okay, stay calm, people. You may have noticed by now, your Facebook has suddenly changed from being a one-emotion robot to a sensitive, hormonal mess. Not only can you Like a post now, you can have a myriad of emotional reactions to it.

To be specific: Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad or Angry.

So. Much. Emotion. Image: Facebook

According to a post by Facebook gazillionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Our community has been asking for a dislike button for years, but not because people want to tell friends they don’t like their posts.”

“People wanted to express empathy and make it comfortable to share a wider range of emotions. Love is the most popular reaction so far, which feels about right to me.”

If you hover over the ‘Like’ button on your computer, or hold it down on your phone, the Reactions will pop up. And when you write a status, prepare for extra notifications, because you will be able to see exactly how people felt about it.

Time to lay some ground rules. STAT.

What the Facebook Reactions look like. In the second image, see the grouping and the badges on each profile picture (all identities protected). Source: Facebook

1. Don’t get trigger happy.

No one really cares how you feel about a status. In fact, remember that as a general rule of thumb. On Facebook, no one really cares.

2. Don’t ‘Haha’ inappropriately.

If someone has written a crappy, vague, emo status like ‘just so fed up.’… then don’t laugh at them with an emoticon button. Openly mock them with a sarcastic comment for attention-seeking.

3. Keep the Anger down to a minimum.


When you read something that pisses you off on the Internet, step away from the computer and get on with your life. Use the Anger button to agree with someone, like if they share an article about animal cruelty. Use your actual words to express your anger. Out loud. To yourself. Then get over it.

Hold down the Like button on your phone, and discover the options. Image: Facebook/Zuck

4. Use your Love wisely.

If you love every status, your love will be worthless. WORTHLESS.

5. Let’s make it a sarcastic ‘wow’.

Because it would be a lot more fun. E.g. “Yes! Great workout at the gym, now home to cook a delicious meal then bed.”…..Wow.

6. No one likes a sad sack.

The Sad button will be good for showing compassion. It will not be good for the nights when you’re at home, single, drunk, thinking about your ex and noticing that he has recently put up a photo of his new girlfriend.

7. Don’t forget about the Like button.

I like the Like. Simple, effective, very little thought involved. It’s a button that says ‘yeah, good on ya’, without too much commitment to the moment. It’s casual. Let’s keep the Likes going. The others can be for special occasions, not for when you’re so bored you are four years deep into your friend’s cousin’s new wife’s photos.

Most importantly, this is the golden rule: Facebook is not real life. Your thumb may have six emotions at its’ disposal now, but your face has many more. So if your thumbs don’t have anything nice to say… turn off the computer.

Go forth, Facey friends. Let’s bury ourselves in virtual emotional turmoil.