By Rachel Garvey
Instagram has brought in a new change to their platform; a new change that has removed the user’s ability to access how many likes they’re getting on their posts. However, not every user on Instagram is experiencing this new modification. It is only in several countries that Instagram users are subject to this new ideology. Countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand are all experiencing the new change of not being able to access likes, apart from their own likes, but users are having to click into their actual post where the likes are, in order to see how many people have liked their post. This new ideology was brought into action because Instagram wants their social media audience to focus on the content they post, not how many likes they receive on a particular post. In today’s generation, social media popularity overrules the lives of many young adults and they base that popularity on how many likes they get. By removing the ability to see likes, Instagram hopes that it will make their users feel less pressure around the content they post on the social media app.
The change brought both negative and positive impacts with many people and celebrities taking to social media to express their opinions on the new change. Most users reacted with “no-one wanted this change”, meaning they were completely against this new revolution. However, it’s not the fact that they didn’t want this change, but that Instagram thought this new change would be a good one, one where it released a lot of pressure on individuals who rely too much on their popularity and who need to focus more on the people they know and who care about them, not the strangers who like their posts, just because the picture is good. One like from a stranger is nothing compared to your loved ones and the attention you get from them, which is being pushed behind the curtain due to people becoming so infatuated with likes from people they don’t even know. Pop star, Troye Sivan reacted positively to this new change by commenting, “Holy s*** Instagram removed like numbers hallelujah” followed by the comment, “Bout to post w no thought or consequence like it’s 2013 go crazy go stupid ahhhh”. Troye, being a well-known pop star, is a sterling example of how users should react to Instagram’s new trial for changes. People are dwelling too much on the likes they receive, checking their Instagram account every few minutes when a notification comes in about a new like on their recent post. It becomes an addiction and an unhealthy one too. Negative repercussions that Instagram has on its user’s mental health can be traced back to the overwhelming weight it places on popularity.
Unlike Troye, who is seeing the lighter side to this, most celebrities, models and musicians use the platform to promote themselves, their brands and their music and their likes are very integral to that. The bigger their social media following is and the number of likes on their posts determine their popularity status on social media platforms and we need to stop learning from that particular example and start thinking about our own lives, not compare it to other’s lives. People need to learn that posting a selfie of themselves or with friends should be a way of making a memory, not a way of earning likes. The smile in that selfie and the memory itself should be worth way more than your popularity and your mental health.