No Likes? No Worries.

Image result for image of a teen looking at her phone sad
Image courtesy of slate.com

A few weeks ago, my daughter asked if I’d heard about Instagram’s plan to hide ‘likes’ from posts. I hadn’t, but was intrigued. My first thought: social media taking steps to improve mental health? Big thumbs up. Especially how it could affect teens and young adults.

Instagram, owned by Facebook, started testing hiding likes this past April in Canada. The test went to other countries in the summer, and recently to some users in the United States. The way it works is that the user sees likes on posted photos or videos, but the count is hidden from the public.

Have you ever wanted to delete a post because it wasn’t receiving enough likes? I have, and it wasn’t a good feeling. Ultimately, I left it up because it was important to me, and I realized it didn’t matter how many people ‘liked’ it.

Image result for images of social media
Image courtesy of mccarehouse.org

But it’s easy to imagine how a low number of likes can make someone (particularly an adolescent) feel embarrassed and unpopular. This could lead to low self-esteem, bad body image, or feeling unworthy because your selfie isn’t cute enough, your picture isn’t pretty enough — or worse — your life isn’t good enough.

As the testing was rolled out just this year, it’s too soon to know how it’s going to affect mental health. And there’s another part I’m wondering about. The business aspect of the app, how social marketing influencers will deal with this, as their business is dependent on the number of followers and likes.

It was encouraging to read this quote by Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri: “We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people’s well-being and health.”

While hiding likes on Instagram won’t be an instant cure for improved mental health, at least it’s a positive step in the right direction.

I LIKE that.

19 thoughts on “No Likes? No Worries.

  1. Well done! Recently diagnosed with Autism, and it explains so much of my sensitive nature, my walking wound. God awakened me almost three years ago, and I realize that it makes no difference if people like or even dislike my posts-it is my contribution to the universe~

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I LOVE THOS POST SO MUCH!! and what a great idea..I’ve done that, btw. Deleted or reposted and all kinds of stupid stuff…wouldn’t it be great not to worry about that stuff?!? Xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes it would! It is a great idea, I’ve been watching for it here in CA (actually in the US) from any of my friends’ posts, but haven’t seen it yet. Have you? Thanks for reading Tracey!💖

      Like

  3. Yes, I like that too. It’s definitely a step in the right direction. It takes the pressure off the stats to the message behind the picture. It’s been implemented here in Australia for a while now and I think it’s great. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve noticed that when scrolling my feed, I no longer know how many people like the posts of the people I follow. I believe what Instagram is trying to do is make us more aware of why we are liking photos. Before, if we noticed a photo has received a lot of likes, we were more likely to want to stop and see if we should like it, too. This is because we are creatures of wanting to follow the pack. By removing the like count, we must interact with our feeds in a more genuine way. As far as posting something, Instagram has not removed the like count from the person who posted the photo. So I still know how many people have liked my posts which is something I don’t think will ever go away. The only difference is that my followers don’t know how many likes my posts are getting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your comment, it’s great to hear your insight on how it works. You have a really great point about us simply double clicking that heart randomly, maybe because a lot of others liked it. Thanks again!

      Like

  5. I wasn’t aware of this. Yet. I’m not on Instagram. It’s an interesting concept. And more interesting to note that it hasn’t reached the US yet. Do you think social media icon such as Kim K will agree to do it on her feed to get the ball rolling here? 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting thought about Kim K! I really don’t know how it’s going to affect influencers. I’ve heard the test is just in a small sample market in the US, started in November. I haven’t seen anyone here in the US with it yet. Thanks for reading and the comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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