Face Plants

Like, love or wow? It’s complicated.

I’ve had trouble sleeping lately. I blame the new Facebook emojis. 

You know what I’m talking about—the four new faces (along with a heart symbol) that have taken their place below Facebook posts, joining the venerable thumbs-up “Like’’ symbol, which had been the only shorthand critique available. Now we also have the choices of Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry when assessing a post. Just hold your cursor over “Like’’ and you get the new “moods,’’ each connected to a face.

It’s Mr. Haha, in particular, who creeps me out. Perhaps he reminds me of the kid in third grade who made fun of me during kickball or stuck his foot out to trip pupils headed to the blackboard. It’s a sneering, mocking sort of laugh, eyes closed and tongue protruding (similar to one on Facebook’s “Meep’’ selection of stickers, but let’s not go there). At any rate, not a good look.

Actually, all the emojis are rather nightmarish—as is the decision on just which symbol to use. Does “Love’’ mean you’re overreaching, particularly if the subject is a person? Would an “Obsessed’’ emoji be more appropriate, with tongue actually hanging out? Conversely, if somebody wins an award, is “Like’’ too lame? Shouldn’t you “Love’’ that if you’re a true friend?

At least you can go in and change the emoji if you slip up and choose Mr. Haha when, say, somebody announces the death of a relative. And you don’t have to “Like’’ the fact that somebody broke their leg in a bicycle accident. The Sad face will do just fine. But as many critics of the new emojis have pointed out: There’s still not the needed “Dislike’’ button. After all, you can dislike something without being angry. For instance, I don’t like this particular column. But I’m not angry about it, even though I missed a lunch event because I was facing deadline. Wait, come to think of it, I am angry about it.

As for this issue: columnist Greg Dawson is angry and wowed by the “walking dead’’ who talk the walk—texting and calling while strolling and not watching where they’re going. Joseph Hayes loves the new crop of plant-based eateries taking hold in Orlando. Michael McLeod’s story on the fascinating family history behind Enzian theater and the Florida Film Festival will likely provoke “Loves’’ and “Wows.’’ As will our colorful spring fashion spread and the quarterly Home+Garden section. Likewise, you’ll probably be wowed by the sheer number of Best Lawyers in town appearing on our annual list. 

Finally, there’s still another month left to vote in our Best of Orlando poll. Pick your favorites in dozens of categories ranging from bicycle shops and coffee spots to bloggers and day spas. Just for voting, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a free dinner at a top local restaurant. 

Wow.

Sorry, there seems to be no sadness in this issue. So do us a favor and as soon as you’ve voted… go like us on Facebook.

Categories: Column