When it comes to the relationship that exists between the Internet and bullying, there exists a lot of controversy. Teens and young adults have the choice to participate or be bystanders to bullying. Now, it is even more of an issue because this choice can occur right at their fingertips.

Facebook users have been requesting a “dislike” button for years now as an alternative to the “like” button. But recently, it has been announced that their wishes may become a reality. According to CNN, Facebook is planning to test the dislike feature, though no further details are available at this time. I think that if the dislike button were to happen, it would only enhance and facilitate cyber bullying. In our society, there is already so much room for negativity and cyber bullying as is. There are always people who will comment something to hurt someone’s feelings online, rather than just vocalizing that in person. The addition of a dislike button will only feed into this type of anonymous bullying that takes place behind a screen.

Some people are arguing that users would use the dislike button when things “aren’t good,” as mentioned by Jessica Guyunn of USA Today. If something isn’t “good,” why not just either choose not to like it, or to post a comment stating how you feel? It isn’t worth it when you consider the potential harm and toll that this may end up taking on those who experience bullying online.

The implementation of a “dislike” button may seem like a good idea to some adults in order to have a distinction from when things posted are “not good.” This is seen when there is a post about something sad or bad that may have happened to someone. However, the people who are in support of a dislike button are failing to consider that preteens and teens would be the group most likely to misuse the feature.

At this point in time, kids don’t even have to leave their house in order to destroy someone else’s reputation. Due to smart phones and all of the various social media apps that are constantly emerging and evolving, there is becoming an even greater disconnect between people when it comes to face to face interactions. Communication as a process is completely warped as a result of the various advances in technology that have taken place over the last decade. Furthermore, getting rid of the idea of a Facebook dislike button altogether would certainly aid in lessening the potential for more cruelty amongst Internet users.

Technology isn’t going to stop progressing; that’s inevitable. However, as consumers and users of it, we shouldn’t facilitate the implementation of something new that will only bring negative repercussions in the end. How many more suicide stories as a result of cyberbullying do we have to read about in order to realize this? Facebook is already a dangerous vehicle for cyber bullying as it is. According to The Daily Mail, a report from March 2013 found 87 percent of teenagers reported cyberbullying from Facebook. The fact that some people, particularly teens, rely so heavily on how many likes their posts and photos get, is very scary.

While liking is positive, people still use that in a negative way by always striving to have the most. It is almost becoming a competition for some people. I’ve seen guys and girls alike who will delete a post if it doesn’t receive a certain amount of likes during a specific time frame of being posted. We can’t continue to rely on such an intangible sense of affirmation in order to feel good about ourselves. If we add a dislike button, what will happen next? There is nothing positive about publicly stating that you don’t like someone or something that they post. If you don’t like someone, the best thing you can do is let it be and leave them alone. Don’t go on their Facebook page and take the effort to dislike their posts and photos.

Facebook should seriously consider the issues that will arise if they do end up choosing to create a dislike button. Do they really want their new social media tool to be the cause of the next cyberbullying case that can lead to depression or worse? We must keep things positive and by doing so, we will avoid unnecessary negativity in our lives on the Internet.

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