With Instagram recently announcing that they were getting rid of likes plenty of things immediately came to my mind such as:
- What will influencers do now? Will their profits be based around marketing metrics and impressions instead of sole "likes"?
- What will be the use of promoting your posts across the platform unless there is a call to action?
- While the reasoning for this is most likely due to mental health caused by comparing your life to those around you – at the end of the day is that worth getting an app's entire business model restructured?
I am not defending nor attacking Instagram's position for doing so, I've talked about the importance of unfollowing people who don't make you feel happy over social media, but I don't think that the company should have to adapt based around people's egos.
There are plenty of things that matter – and should matter – more than the collective amount of likes that a post gets in the moment. Examples of this include the obvious- such as professional accomplishments, but more so – the little things in life. The ones that you may not feel the need to document, but still exist to create and spread joy.
Examples of this include a meal out with your friends – but not at the trendiest place with a 3 hour line to get in. I'm talking about tacos at the hole in the wall place – and neighborhood hangouts which repeatedly prove to have the best deals and have become the consistent spot for your friend group.
I'm also talking about the joy of re-watching your favorite shows on Netflix. Michael Scott saying "that's what she said" from 2010, til I die. I'm talking about laughter shared over media, or in person. If Instagram was mysteriously deleted tomorrow, would you take a picture of you at that coffee shop to frame? No? Then do millions of people need to see or like it? By all means, if it makes you happy, please continue to post, but please don't feel as if this "lack of likes" is more important than the $7 latte you're enjoying!
In other words, likes are superficial. If you truly love your friends outfit of the day, compliment them! Same goes for the city photography they took - or even the cute picture of their puppy. Expressing gratitude or praise means so much more than double tapping an image, after all.
There's a stereotype that the most insecure people are the ones posting the most online. I don't think this is necessarily true, but if there are little steps you can take in life to overcome insecurities and surround yourself with positivity - that's a bigger gift than one social media could ever give you.