Double Tap to Show Some Love

If you haven’t heard, Instagram is testing removing the like counts from users posts in several different countries. You can read a great article Time wrote about the piece here. Basically as a quick summary, Instagram will be hiding the number of likes that a post gets to the followers, but the person who is posting can still see this detail.

I understand their aim to create a healthier social media platform, more about the content shared and not “is this the perfect post that will get me the 1k likes,” and I can see two sides to this.

First, those who judge themselves against others. What am I not doing right? Why does this person have so many more likes than me? If I could just take the perfect shot of my breakfast… This eliminates a lot of that comparison to others. This new look might be helpful to curb those who struggle with that piece of outside judgement.

However,  a large part of social media has always been a balance of “I put this out to the universe because we need to tell everyone,” yet, when no one likes your post, that feeling can be crushing. Or the panic of posting one photo that has all the right elements, but its not getting the same love as one that you thought was a throwaway. So those posting can still see the likes do this same comparison to their own photos. 

Second, there are some that use the platform to push for community support. “1k likes and I will donate $1000,” or “Double tap to show some love.” All of these phrases run rampant with showing support for causes and others in whatever journey they are on.

Yet, when I’ve fallen down the Instagram #hashtag hole, I found a community that used it for self harm. “1 like equals and hour that I will fast,” encouraging young girls who may be sick to continue on with the illness and get the promotion of it in their lives. 

I feel like we have put ourselves as a society in such a precarious place with the praise we give to others on their posts, photos, and comments, and making changes might cut deep one way or the other. 

So won’t you double tap if you liked this post?