Are "likes" really that important?

You’ve seen it, or maybe you’re guilty of it too. Checking your cell phone every minute or so to see if you got another “like” or comment on your most recent post on social media. I’ll admit it, I do this. Sometimes I may share something, usually a photo, and if I don’t get a positive response quickly, I’ll delete it. I won’t deny that I’ve gotten caught up in the whole instant gratification thing like so many others have.

Recently I learned that Instagram is currently testing a new feature - hiding “likes” on your account. You, as the account holder would still be able to see how many folks double tapped on your photo, but no one else would. At first I wasn’t too thrilled with this idea. That had more to do with the fact that I don’t like change. Though if Instagram is reading this, I would like the algorithm to change back so posts would show up from all the accounts I follow, in chronological order. I’m tired of being told what I “want” to see with some accounts not even showing up in my feed at all. If I liked their account, it’s because I want to see their posts!

But after some thought, I really do hope Instagram does away with the “like” count. Then maybe we’ll start to see authentic images, photos that reflect real life, you know those less than perfect moments. I used to love scrolling through my feed, but I’m finding myself checking in less and less often. There’s so many beautiful accounts, I just don’t think I can begin to compete to get people to follow me. Ironically, the number of “likes” on average for my feed remains the same as it has for several years now. But looking at other feeds and seeing “likes” that are double, triple or even Duodecuple (did you know that was even a word?) mine makes me question whether I should even have an Instagram account sometimes.

But here’s the thing. We all think we want to be the “best”, the most popular, the most talked about account amongst our peers. But what we really want is to be seen, heard, and to know that we do matter. I follow some people even though I know I’ll never buy their service or product, but because they are authentic. They share their trials, tribulations, triumphs and the journey that got them there. I find myself rooting for them when things don’t go right and celebrating over their successes. I’ve never met any of these folks, but I feel like I know them just from following their accounts. It doesn’t matter to me that they have 1 “like”, 100 “likes” or even 10,000 “likes”, I still like them.

If Instagram does hide “likes” I think we’re going to see more real world posts from instagramers. No more sharing a certain post because the poster knows it will elicit thousands of thumbs to double tap on the photo. It will hopefully put an end to our unhealthy comparison to other social media users. Instead, it should encourage more interaction with one another. Which is, after all, what we’re all longing for anyways.

What do you think about this feature? Are you in favor of it or not? Are you guilty of not sharing something because you don’t think you’ll get as many likes as you want? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!


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terrier mix in Florida