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Instagram And Your Mental Health

Instagram And Your Mental Health
Instagram Likes, You’re So Much More Than A Number
Many of us want more likes, but has the pressure to be ‘liked’ become too much for us to handle? Like a parent taking away a toddler’s candy after they’ve had too much, Instagram is taking away our likes. And many users are throwing tantrums! How does Instagram affect your mental health and will hiding likes help?

The Switch To A Like-Less Instagram

Instagram started hiding likes for us Italians back in May, and recently decided to expand testing to include some parts of the United States. The reason being to take some of the pressure off Instagram users, particularly the younger generation. There’s enough pressure to be liked IRL. Having a number for everyone to see is damaging our mental health.
Heads up! We've been testing making likes private on Instagram in a number of countries this year. We're expanding those tests to include a small portion of people in the US next week. Looking forward to the feedback!
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri)
If You Post On Instagram And No One Likes It, Did You Really Even Post?
Many of us live for likes on Instagram because it means more engagement. But are we putting too much value on likes? After all, they are considered a vanity metric.

So many people are so caught up in chasing a number, rather than sharing great content. Remember the World Record Egg? A photo of an egg received the most likes on Instagram (56 million). And a perfect example of how much value should be put on a like.

I’ve been guilty of scrolling my feed and liking nearly every single photo without much thought. So what’s a like really worth anyway? Well, turns out, A LOT to influencers. Influencers are paid based on their ‘influence’, which is weighed by many factors including community engagement aka likes.

And for non-influencers, the number of likes has become more of a competition than engagement.

How Will This Impact Influencers?

No doubt, many influencers will be affected by a like-less Instagram.

The issue will now be the number of followers will trump actual engagement. With so many ‘influencers’ faking it with bought followers, it could be harder for genuine people doing it the right way to get deals. Without being able to see the number of ‘likes’ it’ll also be more difficult for brands to easily distinguish between who has paid for fake followers and who has actual real influence. I can see this hurting some influencers. Brands will have to do the work if they want real influence for their buck. Genuine comments (not spam) and real followers are a great indicator of how much actual influence a person has on Instagram. Fake followers usually have no profile picture, zero or very little post activity and they’re usually following a ton of accounts, with very little followers.

How To Tell How Many Instagram Likes Someone Has

You can still how many likes you get. And, you can’t see the actual number of likes on someone else’s post. But you can click on the likes area and scroll down to get an idea of how many likes they have. If you’ve got some time on your hands and you’re so curious, you can even count them if you want. Also, you can still like posts and the Instagrammer will see the love.

Show me a little love @nerdyrockson💕

Why Is Instagram Taking Your Likes Away?

Instagram can be bad for your mental health. The whole platform has turned into one big competition, instead of a social platform to engage and connect. It’s more about who has the most followers, how many likes can you get, and who appears to have the best life?! The pressure to have more friends, a nicer house, that cute outfit, the beach body and trips… It can be a major source of self-doubt, insecurity and envy. Add social media bullying into the comments and you’ve got a dangerous combination that leads to depression and even suicide.

Life After Likes

Although I think it’s a step in the right direction, the pressure is still there, it’ll just be put on the number of followers you have and the comments you get. You can take likes away, but the competition remains. For me, growing up I only had to compare myself to a small group of people that I went to school with and some celebrities I looked up to but I knew weren’t ‘real’. Today’s generation has the whole world in their hands and in their heads.

The problem is so much deeper than Instagram likes, but it’s a positive step to making social media a healthier, happier place.

Instagram And Your Mental Health

Social media can be a source of positivity if done right. It can be a place to reconnect and make new connections. And, even a source of income. It can also be good for your mental health! Does your social media include lots of inspiring stories and photos? If not, you’re not doing it right! Here are some helpful tips to use social media to help your mental health!
Be aware of which social media networks and accounts are triggering negative emotions. Be proactive and block or restrict yourself.
Limit your time on social media. Track how much time you’re spending on social media. Try and avoid scrolling feeds before bedtime to allow your mind to wander on its own.
Find positive online communities to engage with. Narrow down your networks and pay more attention to the ones that are benefiting you.
What do you think of Instagram hiding likes?

Is there too much competition on social media?

How can we make social media better for our mental health?

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Michael
Designed for Wellness

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