17/04/2022

2022/04/17#p1
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Reply to Jan-Lukas Else...

I have toyed with the idea of adding reactions to posts but it goes against the ethos I've been trying to instill for a while now. Hearts, likes, thumbs up, they are all minimum viable social actions:

"completely disposable and, in most cases, reliant on no other interaction to initiate"

You don't even have to read something before tapping a button.

They are surrogates for more meaningful, considered responses, a metric we can agonise over — a marker of the approval of others. I can get annoyed when what I think is a good post doesn't get any comments but something thrown out there in five seconds gets a whole thread. This feeling can be amplified enormously if a heart, which takes just a second to interact with, doesn't get clicked?

They may seem like innocent, harmless fun but they can be damaging; better not to add them and antagonise myself.

This might seem like an overreaction (no pun intended) but the idea of minimum viable social actions has irked me for years. I believe that our interactions online should be worth something, should be more meaningful than metrics and anonymous validation.

If I was ever going to add reactions to (b)log-In they would need to work something like this:

  • tap the heart
  • be presented with a comment box and a message saying "Now tell me why"
  • the reaction wouldn't be registered without an explanation
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Chris Lovie-Tyler says:Reply to  Chris Lovie-Tyler

I have mixed feelings about them too.

I think they can be good for those who would never leave a comment but just want to show that they read and appreciated what you'd written.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog