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Facebook likes for sad events: the digital condolence five

Condolence Five

Clicking “Like” on a sad Facebook update. It’s a thing.

In “Good Crazy,” a season 7 episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney comes up with a “Condolence Five,” a way to offer condolences to someone about something sad.  He keeps saying “It’s a thing.”  Of course, in classic #HIMYM fashion, by the end of the episode it IS a thing that Barney uses to console a Japanese business man at the blackjack table.

Every now and again, I’ll see a sad post someone put on Facebook, and inevitably there are “likes” on it.  These are clearly meant to be reassuring or supportive rather than the more direct “I like that you posted this sad news” or worse, “I like this news you’ve posted.”

The parallel is inescapable. The Condolence Like is a thing.

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