For almost 10 years, Instagram has been my social media platform of choice. While it's not without its flaws, one of my biggest issues with it has always been the "likes," display on posts.
People have come to recognize the number of likes on a post as validation: The more likes you have on something, the better the photo is, the better most people feel about themselves, etc.
It's human nature to seek attention and acceptance, but I think likes have driven things off the edge a bit. There's the saying "doin' it for the 'gram," for a reason.
Recently, Instagram introduced a feature to hide like counts, which does exactly what it sounds like. I've seen a mixed response to this in terms of perception as well as participation.
For influencers, I can see why some may not want to hide their likes. Likes/engagement may be quantifiable in the form of a paycheck or sponsorship opportunities.
But for influencers and non-influencers alike, likes can have an impact on our mental health. As mentioned above and as truly silly as it sounds, they're a symbol of validation, a way for others to co-sign on whatever it is you're sharing.
It's all become so silly to me - why does something so trivial as the number of likes on a post hold so much value? Why do we let that happen?
I'm at the point of my life where - cue Die Hard quote - "I'm too old for this shit." I don't care how many people like my posts and I'm sick of getting bummed out when a photo I think is great doesn't get the like count it "deserves."
Admitting that feels weird but it's the truth. And I know Instagram is partially responsible for poor engagement metrics because of its algorithm (they make a lot of decisions that make me question if they want users to stay on the platform, or if they're trying to drive us away).
I'm done with likes. I want others to see my photos and follow along with my life/journey, and the number of likes I get on a post is totally irrelevant to any of that. I'm saying goodbye to sharing the like count of my posts, at least for the foreseeable future.
Are you in the same place as me, or are you sticking to displaying your likes?
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