Challenging times call for unwavering support. As we continue to struggle with the ‘new normal’ brought about by strict measures in social distancing and suspension of most economic and social activities, the need for emotional support is certainly indispensable to keep us on the ground.
Being locked at home for several months made people experiment and find things that may keep them busy. While sudents and kids continue to learn through digital learning alternatives and distance learning, and the working class who have the privilege to work from home do not need as much distraction, most people are probably going through similar mental and emotional distress caused by isolation.
In a report from independent research firm OpenSignal, the Philippines recorded the highest increase in WiFi usage among other Asian countries during March resulting to a slow down of internet connection. Aside from work from home arrangements, this can be attributed to, but not surprisingly, to more time spent in social media, availment of free online courses, activities, and other online experiences.
With the rise of user interaction, Facebook has announced the unveiling of its new “care” reaction buttons to add in the existing seven reactions used for posts, comments, and Messenger chat including ‘like’, ‘love’, ‘wow’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’, and ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons.
Facebook’s EMEA Communications Manager, Alexandru Voica says that their goal is to enable people to express their support to their friends and family in these uncertain times, which cannot be easily shown thru the existing reactions.
In the Facebook app and website, the first new reaction would be a ‘Hug’ in the form of a little round face holding a red heart. The other reaction is a ‘Violet heart’ available in Messenger chat, which can be activated by long-pressing the heart button and clicking ‘use updated heart’.
Fidji Simo, the head of Facebook app, noted that for many years that users have been suggesting various reactions, the Hug is ultimately the most voted.
The new reaction buttons mirror the outpouring support taking place worldwide in the battle against COVID-19.