Healthify Facebook

11 Ways Facebook’s New ‘Reactions’ Emojis Will Change Your Behavior

Facebook is now testing six ‘Reactions’ emojis as a potential expansion of the current binary (Like/Comment) layout.

According to Engadget ES, users in Ireland and Spain are auditioning the new emoji options, which include like, love, haha, yay, wow, sad and angry.

Many people expected the addition of a ‘Dislike’ button, but Facebook seems to think that users should have access to a broader range of emotional responses.

A Mashable writer in Ireland who tested the new emoji options describes feeling confused by the new choices. The new buttons made it difficult to choose “wow” or “sad” in response to a post from a friend whose girlfriend had left him.

If this new scheme of reactions becomes a permanent for Facebook users, then it’s certain the user experience will change. The question is whether it will be for better or worse.

Sure, on the surface it sounds more intriguing to a range of one-click responses available in your emoting arsenal, but here are some predictions for how 6 Reactions emojis will change Facebooking if they stick beyond the testing phase.

How Your Facebook User Experience Will Change with 6 ‘Reactions’ Emojis Available

Here are 10 predictions for how your user experience on Facebook will change when. larger arsenal of emojis becomes available. Feel free to comment below as to whether you like, love, feel sad, etc. about my predictions :-)

1. You’ll spend much more time than usual choosing the right reaction to your friends’ posts in order to avoid any misunderstanding.

It will become important to assess what kind of emotional response a particular Facebook friend is looking for. If a friend posts about losing her job, you might want to think twice before showing pity (“sad”) when she is expecting anger (“angry”) or even celebration (“yay”.)

2. As a result of not knowing exactly what kind of support your Facebook friends are expecting, you’ll avoid responding more than you did with the old system, or you’ll comment instead.

The six emoji scheme presents a fantastic lesson in taking time to give people the kind of love they’re hungry for, as opposed to blindly offering the type of  love you would want from others.

3. Until you become comfortable with the new system, you may feel awkward and vulnerable posting certain links, pictures and opinions that you previously didn’t think twice about posting.

Who knows how people might choose to react to your selfie now that they can poke fun of you (“sad”) with one click?

4. You’ll feel obligated to add a comment to clarify your choice of emoji.

Again, why risk being misunderstood when it’s hard to know how your friends will interpret your choice of emoji? Eventually you’ll get used to the new system and mindlessness emoji clicking will prevail.

5. You’ll feel misunderstood by your Facebook friends since you won’t get the exact emojis you’ve been fishing for.

Again, until we figure out the new game of soliciting emojis, it will be confusing.

6. You’ll get an even better sense of who hasn’t grown up since high school. 

People will appear either more judgmental or more sympathetic. The new options will be seen by some people as a chance to rally the troops for a certain cause, to piss people off, or to share rapid support and love.

7. After a short period of excitement and beta testing in which you play it safe with our emojis, you will slowly become more daring.

It takes time to adjust, but if you check Facebook many times per day, the adjustment period will be fast.

8. You’ll find yourself upset by some people’s choice of emoji and by the increased use of Facebook as a way to push an agenda.

Since it’s easier for your audience to share a more powerful emotional reaction than a “like” with just a simple click, some Facebook users will feel inspired to more aggressively push their cause or to gain your approval. Many “yay’s” in response to a call to action can be empowering, which might promote the audacity to keep pushing an agenda. There’s also a greater sense of anonymity and a lack of accountability when it only takes a single click to express an opinion.

9. You’ll be removing your own posts more often than before because you won’t approve of how your friends’ choice of emojis makes you appear to others.

You’ll care even more than before about how people respond.

10. Your tendency to hoard Facebook friends will change and you’ll defriend more people than ever before.

Who would want to be pissed off, embarrassed or misunderstood by Facebook friends you don’t give a shit about or whose Facebook behavior annoys you? You’ll start to think twice about whose reactions are worth seeing on your feed.

11. You’ll eventually want even more ‘reactions’ to choose from. As a result, Facebook will be forced to evolve more often.

Not far from the online dating experience, new emoji options will create a longing for even more emoji options. such as the “dislike” or “sympathy” buttons.

It’s fascinating to consider how our behavior will change on Facebook. I guess only time will tell if I’m even partially accurate.

Do you agree with my predictions?

Greg Kushnick, Psy.D. on Instagram
Greg Kushnick, Psy.D.
Dr. Greg Kushnick is Techealthiest's founder and blogger. He works as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Manhattan. On a broader scale, he is dedicated to helping the world adjust to (and eventually thrive with) new and unfamiliar lifestyle technology. Dr. Greg's inner blogging machine is fueled by his fascination with how personal technology impacts the way people think, feel and act. He thrives on the challenge of applying interpersonal dynamics to the human-gadget relationship and presenting his ideas to readers in a helpful way. He considers himself a family man and an explorer of city culture.
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