menu

Facebook: Bubbling Over With Optimism

Facebook: Bubbling Over With Optimism
Advertising

The "like" button on Facebook speaks to our secret desire to be positive.

Dory Carr-Harris, PSFK
  • 10 december 2010

Maybe we don’t often think about it, but Facebook functions not only as a constant source of stimuli throughout the day, but as one of positive sentiment as well. The ubiquitous “like” button, that little thumbs-up click that symbolizes support and shared feeling, is delivered to us by our friends in mini-doses throughout the day.

In her column for Salon.com, Mary Elizabeth Williams, author of Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream, details the interesting way the we’ve become addicted to this instant reassurance.

What is it about “like” that’s so lovable? Surely a big part of the appeal is what it isn’t. It is not part of a set. It is not the salt to a “dislike” pepper. On YouTube, you can condemn a video unworthy via a dismissive thumbs down. On Amazon, you can bestow a single star on anything from a New York Times bestseller to a gallon of milk.

But any network that hinges on the word “friend” — however loosely its members define it — is one that’s doing its members a huge service by accentuating the positive. An individual’s Facebook isn’t the wide, wide ocean of open systems like YouTube. It’s restricted by a person’s friends list, which is why, when I’m on the New York Times site, I couldn’t care less what anybody else is liking right now. But there’s something very powerful about what happens in a culture when it quite deliberately chooses a respectful vernacular.

Salon: Why Facebook’s “like” button feels so good

Advertising
Trending

Volvo's Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Automotive
Automotive Yesterday

Toyota Is Using Sewage To Power Its New Electric Car

A new hydrogen-fueled vehicle is driven by what we flush away

Culture Yesterday

Catch A Concert On This Small Floating Island

A man-made archipelago in Italy is hosting music and art performances

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Design & Architecture Yesterday

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Woodenwidget says its detailed guides are suitable for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike

Related Expert

Colleen DeCourcy

Marketing & Advertising

Design Yesterday

Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

The clever device offers games, education and the uniquely rewarding experience of destroying your high-flying airship

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Free Sneakers Given Out To Motivated Marathon Runners

Strava will give the shoes to athletes who run the second half of their race faster than the first

Culture Yesterday

Someone Invented A Robot Just To Serve Trays Of Beef Jerky

Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, in partnership with Chef's Cut Real Jerky, creates an automated snack delivery system

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 27, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Millennials Yesterday

Why A Social Networking Site Decided To Rebrand

Meetup, a platform that connects like-minded individuals, has taken steps to stay relevant amongst millennials

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The People-First Workplace Should Borrow From Tradition

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX underline the old-fashioned ideas that deserve a place in the Future of Work

Op-Ed Yesterday

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

Fashion Yesterday

Handbags Crafted From An Old NFL Stadium

People for Urban Progress is an up-cycling program that tackles the waste problem of big demolitions

Work Yesterday

Tech Job Site Created Just For Those Who Are Older Than 30

A new occupational job board presents a creative solution to age discrimination in the tech world

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Europe Yesterday

Architect Turns A Giant Smile Into A Public Exhibition

The structure offers visitors a new perspective of London and creates an immersive environment that integrates structure, surface, space and light

Children Yesterday

Norwegian Kids Are Using Their Phones To Log Unsafe Street Conditions

Travel Agent is an app that gamifies the reporting of hazardous conditions to improve the safety of children's commute to school

Travel Yesterday

Google Wants To Help You Plan Your Next Trip

A new app curates vacation itineraries and organizes reservation emails to take the work out of planning a getaway

No search results found.