Here's Why Your Instagram Likes Don't Matter

Here's Why Your Instagram Likes Don't Matter

The monumental moments of your life are worth more than numbers on a screen.
21259
views

If you know how to operate a smartphone, you more than likely have an Instagram account. Almost everyone I know is active on Instagram and for a good reason: It’s fun. Long distance friends can keep up with each others’ lives, pictures can be edited in cool ways and important events can be published for all to see.

Instagram has all but replaced the family photo album–however, when family photo albums were the main mode of presentation of vacations, graduations and birthdays, there were no “likes.” You simply offered people a book filled with pictures, and they would gush over the images taken on a roll of film. There was no record of anyone “liking” your photo album–you showed it to the people closest to you and they commented on how nice your beach pictures turned out or complimented the dress you wore to Grandma’s 80th birthday party. Unfortunately, these days are gone, and Instagram is far more complicated than any photo album ever thought about being.

The root of what we will call the “Instagram problem” is likes. My generation is all about the likes. After posting a picture on Instagram, we nervously wait for that first heart notification as a form of validation. Yes, Sally liked my picture in less than two minutes! It must not be too ugly. We then close the Instagram app to give our followers time to notice our glorious photo. It could take all day to reach a sufficient number of likes, so we check in every ten minutes or so. Our worst nightmare occurs when our post has been live for three hours and only 30 people have liked it. That’s only ten likes an hour! What’s wrong with my picture? Things only go downhill when we realize that the posts our picture is sandwiched between have garnered twice the number of likes as ours. I guess Ben’s picture of him sitting in his backyard is more like-worthy than my picture of me accepting a scholarship. Ultimately, all we can do to save ourselves is delete the picture and maybe repost it later.

We shouldn’t have to delete our picture just because 100 people didn’t like it on Instagram. Do you think 100 people have seen your family photo album that now sits dormant on the bookshelf? Can you even think of 100 people that are actually active in your life? Your 400 followers on Instagram are not your friends. Maybe 30 of them are, but the remaining 370 are acquaintances and maybe even strangers, because we all know we will allow random people to follow us if it increases our odds of getting more likes. Forget when we used to fear Internet predators–we now welcome them to take a look inside our personal lives. We live in a virtual reality where likes from people we hardly know determine our worth, and it’s just not right.

Keep in mind that when people actually do like your picture, half of them do not give a rip about your life. Your picture is just another square they double tapped as they scrolled through their timeline. In fact, they might just be liking your picture so that you will, in return, like their’s, further fueling the competition as to who will get more likes. Do you really even want these people liking your picture? If they hardly know anything about you, how are they supposed to “like” your photo? They don’t know how hard you worked to make the dance team or how sad you were when your cat died, so why do you care if they like the photo commemorating these moments? Well, you probably care because you think your number of likes represents your popularity and likability. It doesn’t.

The little number that resides beneath your Instagram post will disappear as soon as you delete the picture. It means nothing. It bears no weight. It is easily forgotten, just like your picture everyone either scrolled past or double-tapped. The people who liked your photo of you outside the White House have already forgotten you’ve ever been to DC. They are already distracted by a cute puppy picture, which they will also soon lose memory of. Ultimately, your friends will be your only followers who remember your post, and they are the only people worthy of seeing it in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong—Instagram is one of my favorite apps. I love seeing pictures of my friends working at summer camps or interning at huge companies or volunteering on mission trips, and you better believe I like their posts. The key to Instagram is following people who have invested in your life and liking photos you actually like. Let’s work together to utilize Instagram as a true virtual photo album, where our friends and family can see our photos and celebrate the monumental moments of our lives with us, even if they are geographically far away. Because, in the end, it doesn’t matter how many people liked your picture—what matters is how many people smiled when they saw it.

Cover Image Credit: Weebly

Popular Right Now

A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
25866
views

Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It Is OK To Have Guy Friends That Are Literally Just Guy Friends

Some of my best friends are guys and sometimes they are better friends than girls are.

12
views

Lately, I have come to the realization that some of my guy friends are better then some girls I call my "friends". Ever since middle school, I have always had many guy friends that have always been just guy friends, and nothing more. Some girls had a problem with it back then and they still do now, maybe because they are jealous, or maybe because they feel left out. However, I decided a long time ago to keep those guy friends for reasons like...

1. They Don't Take Things So Seriously

You can always joke around with them, and they will joke around with you right back. You can be as nice as you want or as mean as you want to them, and they will always take it as joke. I think that sometimes girls have a difficult time deciphering between when you are being serious or when you are joking. Most of my guys friends tend to not things too seriously at least 75% of the time.

2. They Are Always Honest

When I need a blatantly honest opinion I always ask my guy friends (and my mom). I do this because guys do not really care about whether or not their response will make you mad. Also, guys do not think about if their answer will benefit them personally or not before they answer.

3. They Genuinely Listen To You

Not all the time. But when I am upset, they are always the ones most concerned. Some of my guy friends take over the "big brother" role when it comes to some situations. My guy friends always listen to my problems or just the same old rants I give all the time because if something is wrong, or something has hurt me, they want to know, in order for them to try and fix it.

I am not trying to say that my girl friends are not my best friends either, and I really do have the best best friend. But sometimes, it just feels good to hangout with my guy friends. Guy friends, that I have never had a romantic relationship or feelings for and they have not had for me. These guys have always been there, and for that I am grateful.

Related Content

Facebook Comments