Column: Why Facebook needs a ‘dislike’ button

Karolina Runnerstam, Channels contributor

Let’s say you meet a distant acquaintance in the supermarket. You get her attention by first poking her in the side and then screaming loud enough for everyone to hear, “Hey Kate! I heard that Taylor broke up with you. That sucks! By the way, what else is going on in your life?”

Wait a minute. Of course you wouldn’t ever do anything like that. You’re no idiot. Or are you?

If this conversation took place on Facebook instead of face-to-face, chances are this is exactly how you would act assuming you’re a certain type of Facebook user. There are a few different Facebook types out there, many of them you probably know as your own friends.

– The exhibitionist has never heard of the word censoring. She blurts out all her inner feelings for the world to see, whether it’s about a fight with her boyfriend or about how depressed she is. These kinds of statuses are almost always followed by “comforting” comments like “you´re too good for him anyways!”, “love you sweetie” and all sorts of combinations of sad smiley faces and hearts.

Normally functioning people would send intimate conversations with their friends as a private message in their inboxes. The exhibitionist? Post it on their walls. What at first sight looks like a hijack of their Facebook (also known as a facerape) is actually the way these people communicate.

-The attention whore is all about marketing himself. He wants the world to see how successful he is and doesn’t hesitate to brag about how he got an A on his latest exam, was hit on by a C-list celebrity or how clever he must be since he just loooved that book by Franz Kafka.

I lost count of how many of my Facebook friends wrote statuses on winter break such as: “Scored a 4.0 GPA, should I apply to Harvard or what?! And I thought I partied too hard this semester hehehe.”

The attention whore always has his iPhone ready to document his 6-mile jogging tour or his VIP table at some nightclub and then post these pictures accompanied by a smug comment.

Well okay, I’ve done it too. If I would sit next to Kanye West on an airplane I would post a status about it (or even better, a picture). If it’s not on Facebook, it never happened.

-The gibberer posts status updates so regularly that her profile easily can be mistaken for a Twitter account. These updates communicate information so brain-dead that they’re not even of interest to her own mother.

“Going grocery shopping,” “It’s raining,” “Weekend!”

The gibberer is the kind of person that will take over your whole news feed if you’re not careful… Careful as in hiding all her posts, that is.

-The amateur poet updates his statuses with fake-poetic clichés: “Life is a mystery, love is an answer. We’re all flowers in space” and the like.

My most recent favorite from my news feed is “When you sleep with someone, be there, don’t go away. Just for a moment, really look at the other person, experience them. See them.” Sometimes I really wish there was a dislike-button available.

The things I put on my own Facebook profile are probably as unfortunate as the ones of my Facebook friends. I wouldn’t necessarily put “in a relationship and it’s complicated” after a fight with my boyfriend, but I won’t lie about the fact that I’m a bit of an attention whore.

I would be genuinely wounded if I’d log onto Facebook on my birthday and just have a few congratulations. Every notification counts in the constant aspiration for as many likes and comments as possible.

Does that make me an idiot you wouldn’t want to run into in the supermarket? If you judge me only from my Facebook, that’s a possibility. We’re all a little bolder, and maybe a bit brainless, in the fabulous world of Facebook.

Karolina Runnerstam and 39 other people likes this.