Why I Think Instagram Should Get Rid of Likes
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. It’s my favorite social media platform. I love editing photos and coming up with captions to describe the mood of the post. It’s a lot of work, but I don’t mind doing it. Sometimes though, I feel like I’m posting for the wrong reasons.
When I first started using Instagram in 2012 I used to post pretty pictures of things like scenery, landscapes, inanimate objects, and other things that weren’t people or faces along with a lyric or quote overlaying the photo. I really enjoyed doing that. I would post whenever inspiration would strike. I never felt like I had to post. I barely got any likes on my photos during that time, but I didn’t care. I just liked what I was doing
Now, I feel like I have to post to keep up my presence on the platform and to keep up my likes. I feel as thought if I don’t post consistently then my post engagement (likes, comments, and shares) will suffer. I don’t always post for myself anymore. I only post photos that I think are more likely to get likes, even though a lot of times they don’t get the number of likes that are what I consider a “good amount.” A lot of my behavior on Instagram now is fueled by likes, and that’s not healthy. I post certain photos with specific hashtags hoping it’ll get me more likes. I post at certain times of the day when I think people are more likely to like my photos. I try to stay active on Instagram after posting, in hopes my activity will trigger other people to like my photo. I no longer post for myself. I post for likes.
So, what would happen if Instagram got rid of likes?
We Would Post for Ourselves
A few months ago, I heard that Instagram is starting to test in other countries hiding likes. When I heard that I got really excited. I noticed that I get a lot of impressions (views) on my photos, but not a lot of likes. My likes have actually gone down in the past few months, but impressions are steady if not actually a little higher than normal. If Instagram got rid of likes, I think that would take the pressure off most of us. I think people would start posting more for themselves than for likes.
There Would Be Less Pressure
To be honest, I don’t really care about how many likes I have on a photo. I more care about other people seeing how many likes I have on a photo. It’s embarrassing if I used to get 130+ likes, and now I only get 60-80. Nothing has changed in terms of my content or posting habits. It’s just how Instagram favors my posts and if the right audience actually sees them. I feel as though getting likes are out of my control, no matter how hard I try to optimize my posts (hashtags, timing, day of the week, etc.). I think Instagram hiding likes would alleviate the pressure I’ve put on myself.
Our Self-Worth Could Be Untied from Likes
I also don’t think that likes are good to show on Instagram because a lot of people, especially the generations younger than myself, may think that their self-worth is dependent on the likes they get. I didn’t have social media when I was in high school, and I didn’t start posting pictures of myself on Instagram until I was almost in college. Even though I’ve only been using Instagram for only a couple of years in my life, there are moments when I do feel like my self worth depends on how many likes I get. Generations younger than I are growing up with this feeling. They are going through high school, middle school, and possibly even elementary school monitoring their likes on Instagram and evaluating their self-worth based on how many likes they get compared to their peers. In no way is it Instagram’s fault. It’s the world we have created as a society, but I think getting rid of likes on Instagram can help untie our self-worth from what we post. I don’t think it’ll solve it all together, but I think it could help.
We Could Start Appreciating What We post and What We See on IG
Social media, especially Instagram, has become somewhat of a numbers game. It’s so much of a numbers game now that we don’t even really pay attention to what we’re seeing on our Instagram newsfeeds. Raise your hand if you’ve ever mindlessly scrolled through your feed liking every picture without really seeing them? I know my hand is raised really high. There are a LOT of great posts out there, but we don’t always stop to smell the roses. If we weren’t as obsessed with likes on Instagram, I’m sure we could start appreciating the content we see a lot more. Admit it, sometimes you like your friend’s photo just to show your support and give her more likes. You may not actually like what you see, but you end up doing it reluctantly. If likes were gone from Instagram, we would probably start liking posts more honestly.
If likes were gone, we would also probably start appreciating what we posted more. There are many times when I’m really proud of a photo that I’m about to post, and I can’t wait for the world to see it. When I actually post it, though, it doesn’t get what I deem to be enough likes, and I stop appreciating my photo. If my photos didn’t depend on likes, I think I would be a lot more proud of my photos. My photo’s worth would be dependent on what I thought of it, not what other people thought of it.
Getting Instagram likes has really become a game, and it’s very tiring. I honestly think the world would be a lot better if Instagram hid likes. Whether you agree with me or not, take what I said into consideration.
Just think, my Dolls, what would life be like if Instagram hid likes?
Lana Del Rey’s lyrics always make great Instagram captions, especially from her new album. Read what I thought of her new album in “Lana Del Rey NFR Album Review.”