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You’ve probably heard the buzz–Instagram is removing the visible number of likes from our photos (cue gasp). Some people are trying to boycott the app, furious about the new change. But despite the mixed reviews, we’re excited about the update’s potential to improve our overall wellness while using the app! Here’s a breakdown of how it will positively affect us.
While we can still see our own like-counts, none of our followers will be able to. When we scroll through Instagram, we’ll see posts that say liked by one user we follow “and others.” When clicked, we can see a short list with some of the post’s likers, but not all of them.
The update doesn’t remove likes altogether, only the public visibility of them. So, if you still want to evaluate your selfie, you totally can (this just takes the pressure off a little).
Studies have shown that social media usage is linked to depression, and likes are associated with peer influence in adolescents. Essentially, many people use social media as a platform for quantifying their self-worth and interests based on the approval of others. As much as we might hate to admit it, likes matter. We use them as a means of comparing ourselves, determining what’s cool or trendy, and understanding who is considered the most popular and likable.
"As a brand, we want to be less interested in how many likes a post gets and more focused on connecting with our followers and being a healthy place to spend time online."
- Devin Dilday, MINDBODY Social Media Team Lead
In 2017, Instagram was ranked as the social media app that most negatively affects our mental health. Removing likes from photos puts us one step closer to decreasing social media’s power over our happiness. Although it won’t solve our FOMO, it might help us worry a little less about what we share. Let’s face it: many of us have deleted a post we were initially excited about, just because it didn’t get enough love. Why should we let these numbers limit how we express our uniqueness, self-confidence, and creativity?
Instagram’s removal of likes could change how we use the platform altogether. Rather than trying to quantify people, objects, and activities, we will be able to focus on the actual content. On their Twitter profile, Instagram explained, “We want your followers to focus more on what you share, not on how many likes your post gets.” This shift will bring us back to Instagram’s mission, “bringing you closer to the people and things you love.”
"It's a positive update for everyone!," says Devin Dilday, MINDBODY Social Media Team Lead. "As a brand, we want to be less interested in how many likes a post gets and more focused on connecting with our followers and being a healthy place to spend time online."
Without likes to distract us, we can use Instagram to discover methods for personal wellness, connecting with inspiring/relatable people, and sharing successes (and failures) in a healthy, productive way. As a wellness brand, @mindbody seeks to inspire others to lead healthier, happier lifestyles, prioritizing their wellness in whatever way works best for them—and we are all for this new update and what it could mean for our mental health.
Looking to add some positivity to your feed? Follow @mindbody for a daily dose of all things wellness!