Should Instagram Remove Likes?


Sofiya Saykovska, Editor

Social media is a confusing realm of interaction that younger generations have grown up with. Although many see it as a useful way to explore their interests and communicate with others, social media sites can be breeding grounds for bullying, blackmail, and the root of issues regarding self-confidence. These in particular have been known to stem from users comparing themselves to others on the app, either through popularity or appearance. I, along with many of my peers, have struggled with this problem. Seeing “beautiful” people gain more followers because of their looks, causes one to worry about the things they “lack.”
To curb some of these feelings, the social media site Instagram is testing a new feature which removes the “Like” count of other users. This feature prevents from comparing the amount of “Likes” they receive to that of others. According to Esquire, “the elimination of public likes is an attempt to shift Instagram from a popularity contest to an innocuous collection of your friends’ posts.”
Many support the integration of this system – it could truly help people battling insecurities to stop comparing their self-worth to others. Social media is addicting too. Seeing “Likes” pop up releases dopamine. If too much dopamine is released, one may be anxious and irritable when away from social media.
Nonetheless, many people disagree with Instagram’s move, claiming that removing “Likes” may render the social media site useless. Others blame the problems associated with social media use on comments, stating that users’ explicit opinions shape a person’s self-confidence more than a “Like.”
I believe that removing “Likes” could be healthy for many users, especially teens, who are vulnerable to criticism and the tendency to conform to what others like. Then again, I believe Instagram should be shut down all together. An irrational thought, perhaps, but consider this: on Thanksgiving, I woke up around 8:30 in the morning and did my routine social media check. Instagram seemed to be shut down as no posts loaded and nothing could be posted. As a result of this “glitch,” I became bored and found myself forced to engage in something else – something more useful. If Instagram was permanently shut down, users would have to engage in other, more important activities rather than aimlessly scrolling through a feed. Many would disagree on this point, but I genuinely believe that radical change must be done within the app in order to aid those struggling with insecurities.

Is removing “Likes” a good idea? Please comment on what your opinion is on this topic!