It’s too easy.

The thumbs down button.

Where, beyond the digital world, can you get away with such passive, such vague, and such anonymous (yet loud) feedback? Even at a public protest, you must be clear about what you’re protesting.

Could you watch your teammate’s presentation, silently give them a thumbs down and leave?

Could you try that homemade jam at the farmer’s market, mutely give it a thumbs down, and walk away?

Could you receive a gift from a friend, flash a thumbs down, and just move along with your life?

Yes, you could.

And you’d quickly lose respect.

Because creating something is much, much harder than making a “thumbs down” sign.

People share their work when they believe it could have value to you. As a recipient, you are always in a position of power. You can insult, ignore, or empower.

What might the world look like if we all tried to empower each other to do better work, to create better things?

Disagree productively and respectfully. Contribute ideas generously and compassionately. Ask questions and open a discussion with a genuine willingness to listen. Create something that does resonate with you—a spoof, if you must.

It’s possible that the thumbs down button reflects more about those who press it than about the work itself.