“3 Reasons Why I Never (*purposely*) Use The ‘Blue Thumb’…And Why You Shouldn’t Either”

It’s been years now since my first encounter with the messenger ‘blue thumb’.

The inaugural event dates back to when I still used my high school hotmail address, beaterbeck@hotmail.com, and I was fairly dense about the overall operations of Facebook.

When I received my first thumb’s up, I didn’t think much of it other than I was slightly confused and a lot intrigued as to how the sender was able to upload graphics (yes…I was that clueless). I thought it was sort of neat and kind of cool that it was possible to reply so simply and quickly.

Somewhere, though, always lingering in the back of my mind, was the thought, “Why don’t they just type, ‘Thanks’ or,‘Thx’ or, even, ‘K’”?.

As interactions on messenger became more of my daily norm, I quickly got over my half-hearted enthusiasm for the intriguing digit and began to internally loathe and dread being a recipient of the cringeworthy icon. Worse still was accidentally sending one! (face palm).

I started to wonder, was I the only one on Facebook getting offended by the blue thumb? Why was I offended in the first place? Was I even offended? Was I taking things too personally? Did I need to fill out a hurt feelings report? Did I need a kick in my sensitive rear end?

After I couldn’t handle my self-questioning any longer, I took to Google only to discover that there were many writers who quietly, and not so quietly, also rejected the dreaded instant response I had found company with others who expressed the exact feelings about the blue thumb that I hadn’t quite been able to pinpoint.

I’ll let it be known that this blog is not intended to chastise anyone who has ever sent me a blue thumb nor is it a personal aim towards those who choose to continue using it. I’ll still be your friend and I will still love you…even though I despise the stubby appendage.

But…May I suggest, especially if you are in business or leadership of any kind, to perhaps consider implementing an alternate response when communicating with other people?

Here are the 3 reasons why I don’t (intentionally) employ the use of the blue thumb-EVER-and why you should consider breaking up with it-today:

1- It’s Kinda Rude.

Even when I know I mean well, simple direct person-to-person interactions can go side-ways and I can end up coming across as cold, ‘higher than thou’ or uninterested in what someone has just said.

So to minimize the risk of digital miscommunication and coming across as an uncaring jerk with not a nanosecond more to spare to type a single extra key, the above is just one of the reasons I have chosen to never implement use of the blue thumb.

I love what this one blogger wrote about its ickyness:

“The thumb is rude. It is bad…Technically it’s a thumb, sure, but it might as well be a middle finger. The thumb is the online equivalent of someone smirking at you.”

2- It’s Widely Perceived As Lazy

I know you’re not lazy, but making use of the blue thumb can be cause for the person on the receiving end to perceive you as such. Perception is a mental impression and an impression is an image in the mind. For most people, that image creates reality and secure as I am in myself and my intentions, being viewed as lazy is one character trait category in which I would rather not be placed.

We’ve all done it. We’ve legitimately missed a text, our kids or we have opened it only to not see it, forget to respond to it or forget to press send. That stuff is forgivable. But, sending the thumb as a response is like taking 5 days to respond to a text and not being able to cite any of the reasons above. It’s plain laziness.

Simply put, “The Thumbs Up [is] the laziest of all emojis.” (-an article on Morefm.com)

3- It Can Cause Avoidable Confusion

Typed text naturally lacks emotion. And, as every one of us has experienced at one point or another, is often the cause of many misunderstandings. Especially these days, everything is heightened and people are on edge. Being ultra sensitive to the needs of others in life and in business is a top priority.

As the writer of this article at the dailyedge.ie put it, “If you had to illustrate the phrase ‘cool story bro’, you would use th[e] blue thumb. You don’t feel that way, but how’s the other person to know?”

So, if you want to rid yourself of any possibility of unclear communication or coming across as an insensitive human, just use words. Language can be fun, we all know the basics of how to use it and most likely, we are capable of at least typing the letters- ‘Ok’.

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Even when I know I mean well, many times I have came across as cold, more important than the other pary or uninterested in what they have just said. To minimize unnecessary and avoidable miscommunication, I have personally chosen to never implement use of the blue thumb.

Again, if you still use it - don’t…though I’ll still love you either way!

-Becky

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