Facebook wants to know: How are you feeling?
There's a water crisis on the other side of the planet. Donald Trump tweeted his latest offensive screed. Your old friend's brother unexpectedly and tragically died. Do you like it? Better yet, do you love it? Does it make you sad or angry? Does it make you say "wow"?
Facebook has upgraded the ubiquitous Like button with a host of new emotions. You can now "love," "haha," "wow," "sad" or "angry" something with cute emojis. You can "wow" a friend's appalling Tinder screengrab, send them a "sad" for emotional support during a period of anxiety or just "haha" their wack memes in sympathy.
Why? Likes have always felt a little callous in situations that aren't exactly positive, but we've never had a better option. The new emojis give us a range of emotions to react with. An "angry" reaction just feels natural for responding to someone's vacation album. "Love" is perfect for a relationship update.
But just remember this: For every little inch of emotional nuance we gain from these buttons, Facebook gains a mile in the ways it can manipulate and keep tabs on us.