Instagram was launched in 2010, and since then it has become one of the leading platforms for marketing, whether marketing your business or simply just yourself. The app took off, and part of the reason people love it so much is due to the fact that you are able to see how many and which people liked your photo. It gives people a sense of self-validation that they need to get through minor inconveniences. There's a reason you can't hang out with a group of friends anymore without half of the time being spent taking photos, and the rest of the time spent editing them. Ridiculous.
Thankfully, Instagram has caught on to this phenomenon and seen the impacts that it has had on the mental health of nearly all of its users, admittedly or not.
Instagram users in Canada are being exposed to a new version of Instagram in which likes are hidden from both the user and their followers. According to my research, this idea was introduced due to Instagram's user's inclination to post twenty-four hour Instagram stories. They believe the concept caught on due to others not being able to see who has viewed the stories.
An article I found regarding the new version states, "Given Instagram's recent increased efforts to prioritize mental health-- Instagram stories were created in part to alleviate the pressure of receiving likes--the test makes a lot of sense." (www.huffpost.com)
The article goes on to discuss recent success with the version stating, "Even better for Instagram's bottom like-- i.e. time spent on site-- Canadians we spoke to said they're posting more, without the built-up anxiety they used to feel about how the post would perform." (www.huffpost.com)
I wholeheartedly believe that this version needs to not only be an option but needs to fully take over. Instagram has stolen the show as far as social media goes, and it causes more problems in day to day life than people care to recognize. Females, especially, have learned the in's and out's of the platform and go to the full extent to ensure that their content performs well. Some even use the app to keep tabs on their boyfriends or even close friends. It is a sickening phenomenon that is single-handedly ruining our self-perception and sense of security.
When everyone else's lives are at your fingertips, why would you try to make the best of your own? This application may have started with innocent intentions, but it has developed in ways that are affecting us more than we care to acknowledge.
It is argued in the article, "'Them removing their most tantalizing feature would be like a casino removing the flashing lights, high oxygen saturation and jackpot announcements, there's no way in hell the powers that will eliminate engagement counters on a large scale." (www.huffpost.com)
Every once in a while, we need those lights to stop flashing, to look in the mirror and self-reflect without the help of anyone else. What happens when you die? Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see your Instagram likes counting for anything past this life.
If you're interested in reading more about the concept, the article can be found on Huffington Post's website. It is titled, "An Instagram With No 'Likes' Could Have A Big Impact On Mental Health." The link is https://www.huffpost.com/entry/instagram-hiding-likes-mental-health_l_5cd092d3e4b0548b735e50bc.