Getting Rid of Likes on Instagram Could Be Beneficial To Our Mental Health and Here’s Why
In Australia and some countries presently, a social media experiment is being conducted by Instagram to observe the impact of hiding the number of likes a post may have. The other six countries include; Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand, with the experiment, just concluded in Canada.
The idea is to hide the number of likes on your posts from your followers. They can still see it, but they’ll have to click and manually count it themselves. On the other hand, you will be able to see the number of likes on your post at all times.
This bold move stems from the growing concern on how social media is actively affecting and influencing the mental health and lives of young people.
According to a tweet from Instagram: “We want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”
No matter how noble the idea may seem, a budding question persists; what risk is Instagram taking by devaluing the crucial currency of Likes, and their public tallying?
Why ‘’Likes’’ Have Such A Huge Effect
In today’s social media world, ‘likes’ are perceived most times as a public affirmation on how good you’re doing. It is, therefore, understandable how getting lots of likes can feel good and become addictive. With this experiment; however, you’ll still get your gold star, but in private.
Sadly, the ‘like’ rave at the moment is beginning to have some adverse health effects on people, especially young people. There will always be someone online, more successful, better-looking, and more glamorous than you. Social media brings that awareness closer to your doorsteps.
As a result, young people are beginning to feel inadequate and unworthy. A study recently carried out on the effects of social medial generally posited that: 78% of teens reported that social media made them feel closer to friends, 49% more informed, and 42% more connected to their family.
Many teens also reported feeling pressure to always show the best versions of themselves (15%), overwhelmed (9%) overloaded with information (10%), or the dreaded “fear of missing out” (9%). These reactions are not static, as they are highly influenced by individuality and state of mind at a period in time.
Our Thoughts on Comments Becoming the New Likes on Social Media
With talks of living in a social media age without social media likes, there is a high possibility of comments taking over from likes as the public’s validation symbol when interacting with a post.
While comments are more expressive and consist of a lot of characters for the public to accurately define their opinions about a post. They can still end up with the same effects as likes. Mainly because comments can be negative as well as positive.
The Experiment So Far
While the trial continues in Australia, many users have revealed various reactions to this update. A lot of users feel manipulated by the platform and argue about a reduction in Instagram’s overall appeal, especially those who use it to support their business.
However, others have applauded the move on mental health grounds, reporting that they are already feeling the difference that the experiment is designed to deliver.