Instagram has recently announced the decision to test a new update with Canadian users. This update will hide the number of likes a post gains. Users will still be able to access their personal views and likes, but people viewing their posts will be unable to see them.
Instagram's decision to do this is to create a "less pressurized" environment, and instead create a platform where users can feel more joy in sharing their lives, rather than creating a competition.
I feel as though this is a very big step for Instagram. A friend once said to me that she enjoys apps like VCSO because she doesn't have to see or focus on how many likes her pictures are getting, but instead can share whatever she enjoys. No matter how much we don't like to admit it, there has been a time where each one of us has deleted a picture that didn't get as many likes as others, or felt down when a picture we liked didn't get the reaction we wanted. Social media can be very harmful at times, and not just for the obvious reasons like cyberbullying and nasty comments, but can harm your mental health and make you feel like you aren't good enough. Young people on the app are easily impressionable, and can sometimes feel down when comparing themselves to edited and photoshopped pictures. Some users look at other people's profiles, and question why they don't get as many likes a certain person.
This age of social media has created a competitive environment that focuses on posting the "perfect" picture rather than focusing on sharing moments and things we love, whether they're in our happiest moments or our lowest moments. I'm guilty of the same thing, choosing not to post things if my body doesn't look the way I want it to or if my nose looks too big. I believe Instagram's decision can help us all start focusing on ourselves and what makes us happy, rather than posting things that will please others, and I also find it very important that people at Instagram care for their consumers' wellbeing.