“Dislike” bullying

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Carmen Puchulu, Columnist

 

For the longest time, people wondered why Facebook never offered a dislike button. Soon, they will no longer have to wonder, as Facebook is working on making it happen.

We could only simply say if we liked something with the like button, but if we disagreed with a certain topic or flat-out hated something, we had to address it by posting a comment.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In that way, we can say specifically how we feel. Not many people want that kind of commitment with their opinions, though.

Finally, Facebook will provide a way we can simply say we don’t like a particular post or side of an argument. No more scrolling through endless comments to see how many people actually agree with you.

Naturally, change brings about fear. And this fear isn’t unfounded. Even I’m a bit wary about this change – the reason being cyberbullying. There have already been several incidents on Facebook, and that is without the dislike button.

Who knows what could happen when dislike button gets officially introduced into the realm of Facebook? I would like to think that people won’t abuse the power, but time and time again, internet neutrality says otherwise. A good place to look for this is YouTube. You can like and dislike videos as well as comment.

While most of the time, nothing bad really happens, there are some videos that get a bad rep and a of  online arguments and name-calling. While some of their points may not be valid, you can’t go around calling people an idiot for having a different opinion than you.

This brings up an interesting question: at what point does a critique become a form of bullying or name-calling?

Many people have this thought that all forms of critique is always a bad thing. Society has become a bit of a perfectionist in this sense.

Critiquing in it of itself isn’t a bad thing. It actually is a good thing. It gives light to a side that wasn’t exactly present before to the one being critiqued. This is indeed very helpful for people to grow, especially the art world, whether it is through visual art, acting or writing. Through critiquing, people improve in their chosen craft.

When critiques are hate-driven and are only said to bring a person down, that is considered bullying. Typically, hate-driven critiques don’t have much evidence for their points and tend to use denotive words, like “stupid” or “idiot.” They don’t help people. In fact they do the exact opposite.

It does seem fairly obvious as to the difference between the two, except this is taking a step back from the situation and looking at it from a logical stand point. In the moment, personal feelings get in the way of rational thought and people can mistake a simple critique as more of a personal attack.

The important thing to do in a situation like that is to keep an open mind and make sure you completely read what a person has to say on a subject. And if it is a hate-spirited paragraph, you have every right to ignore it.