Reacting to Reactions

Big news on the social media front, folks!

In case you haven’t heard, yesterday Facebook introduced its highly anticipated Reactions. In a status update on his own page, Mark Zuckerberg described Reactions as “the new Like button with more ways to express yourself.” This is great news to me, at least, because I’ve always felt that the roughly 6,500 languages spoken on our planet just weren’t cutting it in our quest to leave Facebook commentary. That’s a task that only a series of emojis could adequately handle.

Facebook Reactions gif

Move over, English language. You’re being replaced by some little sentient circle faces.

According to Facebook, Reactions are basically an answer to the long-held complaint of many users that the Like button wasn’t especially useful when people posted updates about their dead dogs or their crashed cars or their overcooked hamburgers; they needed a Dislike button and they needed it yesterday! How else were they going to passively demonstrate to their downstairs neighbor from nine years ago their acknowledgment of his or her current travail?

Since human experience is as nuanced as the myriad ways we choose to describe it on social media, I’d say that Reactions are a nice answer to the need for a Dislike button. Much like a parent whose teenager has begged for the latest gadget for months, Facebook has given us a sensible, cost-effective knockoff that will help us develop some character for God’s sake.

I for one have never taken well to change on Facebook. I mean, I’m still reeling from the addition of a Banner photo option a couple years back; choosing a decent profile pic was hard enough, and now you mean to tell me that I have to take a panoramic photo, too? The pressure is almost too much to bear. Perhaps you, too, feel an overwhelming sense of dread when you think about this post-Reaction world we are now living in.

But, fear not, friends, for I am here to give you a quick-and-easy primer on when to use the new Facebook Reactions.


Ah, Like, our old friend. Like is great for the following scenarios:

  • When your high school classmate tags you in a photo where you are 50 pounds lighter, 15+ years younger, and you only dyed your hair out of boredom
  • When some brand urges you to like its status because you might get a free giftcard or coupon out of it
  • When your mom posts on your wall asking why you haven’t called/ inquiring if you are alive


  • Posts about cheese
  • Posts about chocolate
  • Posts about kittens
  • Posts about babies
  • Posts about kittens and babies wrestling in a kiddie pool filled with cheese and chocolate


  • Literally any video involving a baby goat, but especially if said baby goat is wearing pajamas
baby goats wearing pajamas gif

Give these lil’ brewsters some Ha’s.


  • When a friend posts that they just gave birth in a car
  • When an ordinarily discreet Facebook friend shares his or her views on how Donald Trump “is great for America because he tells it like it is”
  • When, like, a walrus or some other huge mammal is playing piano or painting or something


  • When someone who actually did something good in the world passes away (ie. David Bowie, Gandhi, the IKEA monkey; a good rule of thumb to see if they are worthy of a sad Reaction is if Westboro Baptist Church is picketing their funeral). Use with extreme caution whenever a politician dies.


  • Literally anything Donald Trump posts. Really, just go ahead and Angrify all of his posts. It’s time well-spent.



  1. Baaaaaaaa! – that is laughter and also one of those goats opening a new pair of jammies. Best reaction to these reactions I’ve see so far…

    1. Thank you! Goats in jammies will surely save the planet.

  2. This is hilarious! Also, lots of people STILL aren’t happy. Where’s the ‘DISLIKE’ button, they cry unanimously. Damned if Facebook does, damned if it doesn’t. Also it might be worthy to note that emojis are basically the substitutions for our own faces in this virtual world, so I personally think they are a great addition, especially since they have no effect whatsoever on my life :)

    1. Amen to that! I don’t think I could survive without the laugh/cry emoji.

  3. I live under a rock. I had no idea Facebook had sunk even further than it had. Lovely.

    1. Facebook is no man’s land now. Trust me, that’s a rock you don’t want to crawl out from.

  4. I have not been using Facebook as much as I used to (although still a lot) but I have actually been rather excited since this Reaction possibility was out yesterday. For me, the emoticons create a bit different and fun side to the like button of Facebook, and this step of Facebook shows that they listen to customer’s opinions and do create changes. Maybe it is not a dislike button, and maybe it is still not exact what people asked for; however, I support what Mark has shared, that these offer a little more than just simply “dislike” something. Dislike might eventually become a negative version of Like. These reactions, with their lively moving, do manage to capture, in a way, partly, emotions of us reacting to one post.
    And I like how you gave suggestions of using these reactions! :)

  5. I TOTALLY “HaHa-ed” at that baby goat video. Facebook is SO on the money. Now…let’s go use all these new emoticons inappropriately, just for fun…

    1. We’ve reached the dawn of a new level of trolling!

  6. I demand a shocked- indignant-incredulous -progressive- to- liberal button for all Trump posts.

  7. I’m already to embarrassed to use emojis, and now this? Forget it. Why, when I was young, we didn’t like anything. We just threw rocks.

    1. And y’all were on to something…

  8. Lol! This was a fun post πŸ˜† I agree completely with your assessment, especially on those goats in pajamas. Facebook did good! These reaction buttons seem great and offer you enough variety in your ‘reaction’ without overdoing it. Though I’m sure people will still complain πŸ˜‚

    1. Of course they will! Complaining is the bread and butter of the Internet! πŸ’―

  9. So hilarious – love this primer – and the word “angrify”

    1. I do what I can for the English language.

  10. This is just the best post. Has totally made my day/week/year/century x

    1. Awww thanks πŸŽ‰β˜ΊοΈ

  11. I’m using the Love emoji on this post!

  12. I had no idea you felt that way about baby goats. Totally gonna up the baby goat statuses.

    1. Oh yes, my friend.

  13. All I wanted was a “dislike” button, not “reactions”, but then I wouldn’t get to be entertained by this blog! Hilarious!!

  14. Reblogged this on kirstwrites and commented:
    This is the definitive reaction to the new Facebook ‘reactions’. Just brilliant!

  15. But…but, I’m going to miss that awkward moment when I hit like to a post about a friend of friend’s best friend’s cousin’s 2nd cousin passing away.

  16. Trump is a force of nature, isn’t he?
    Like a tornado for your mind.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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