Story by Olivia Sullivan, Columnist
Photo Courtesy of Canva
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has announced his plan to remove “likes” from the popular social media platform. His intention is to eliminate the app’s pressures, such as anxiety and social comparisons, for U.S. users.
After Instagram tested hiding the “likes” count that appears underneath a posted photo or video in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Italy, and Brazil, Mosseri decided to bring this theory to the U.S.
With it in place, users will be able to see their own “likes” privately, but this information will not be visible to other users. The question is whether removing this feature makes posting photos or videos even worth it.
It is popular for Instagram users to keep track of “likes” as they are received. This will still be possible with the all-new Instagram, however, what will change is the way individuals will feel about these numbers being public. Though Instagram influencers may see “likes” as a necessity for fame, keeping “likes” private to the individual who posts the photo or video has the potential to prevent any toxic pride or social anxiety that users may develop because of the “likes” (or lack thereof) on their posts.
It seems that the number of followers or likes tallied up on any given person’s account has always been a hot topic. But getting rid of these daunting numbers might change users’ perspective on judging and gossiping about one another.
Not to mention the drastic amount of bullying that has taken place on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Eliminating this feature will give young and old minds the confidence to share what they believe is worthwhile, with no fear of harassment based on the comparison of likes.
I think this strategy is long overdue in order to depressurize Instagram. For the sake of our society’s well-being, people need to stop viewing Instagram as a competition, but rather a lifestyle of photos and videos to genuinely appreciate what and who is around us. Quite possibly, with this change, Instagram will be embracing an environment with a positive platform similar to that of VSCO.
Generally, I think the majority of people try to put their best selves forward on social media, but I believe that with this change, users will embrace and promote authenticity. Imagine the pure joy that will come from the feeling of just being you.
Instagram can become a safe place, where you can feel at peace sharing who you want to be and be confident that your children will be supported too. If you want to help make this world a more natural place, get excited about this new update.