What If Instagram Stopped Publicly Displaying “Likes?”

Update: September 21, 2018

Kanye West took to Twitter with a surprising idea, one that ACRONYM had actually posed as a question back in May. When discussing social media, Mr. West makes note that some people care far too much about how many followers and likes that people have, and sometimes look at those as validation or a count on their self worth.

He then shared a clip of Denzel Washington speaking on Social Media, as well as a conversation he was having with Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, on how follower counts may actually be more damaging than helpful, and Dorsey seemed to agree with the thought process, saying that they’d rather have people contribute to global conversation than worry about how many followers they have.

 

 

 

In the event that Twitter or Instagram (heck, even Facebook at this point with their pages or liking system) opt to not share those statistics with the public brand, as we had discussed in the original story of this post, or at least give us the option to hide our follower count, like our comments as Kanye suggested, it may actually help us a lot more, rather than hurt us constantly with trying to raise our follower count, thus making us more popular or valuable.

Time will tell if Twitter or any other social media accounts will go this route, but I for one, think it’s an awesome idea.

 

Original Story: May 22, 2018

Would you still use Instagram if your likes were no longer publicly displayed?

Social Media has become a major part of our lives –  so much so, it’s even difficult to put our phones down to eat dinner. And according to many studies, including the ones cited by Huffington Post (loneliness, envy, anxiety, depression, narcism, and decreased social skills), you have to wonder if we’re only doing more damage to ourselves participating.

HP calls this watching the “highlight reels” of people’s lives, and it causes humans to compare and contrast their lives with others. People getting married, people having families, successes at work or their own businesses, and more, and it’s causing more anguish than it is propelling themselves to the goals.

Their statistics are as follows:

  • 60% of people using social media reported that it has impacted their self-esteem in a negative way
  • 50% reported social media having negative effects on their relationships
  • 80% reported that is easier to be deceived by others through their sharing on social media

 

Instagram, one of the major networks, happens to be the network of creatives, whether it’s photographers, directors, models, makeup artists, and more – but many people are constantly drowning in how many likes they get on a photo/video, or how many followers they have on the ‘gram.

With the intense desire for likes/follows in mind when it comes to social media, it becomes the currency of whether people hire you, whether people work with you, or whether you are given access to a concert/influencer opportunity: you have to be validated by the public. Even though having a ton of likes or followers doesn’t determine your talent, it still gets in the way of those who are blinded by said numbers.

With this in mind, I posted this question to both my Facebook friends and Instagram followers: What if Instagram didn’t visibly show how many likes you got to your followers. Would you still use it?

After 24 hours, the data collected was as follows:

Facebook: 23 Yes, I use to share.  2 No, I want the likes. 
Instagram: 83% Yes, I use to share. 17% No, I want the likes.

Now, I know that many people use Instagram as their Business Tool, and how these things could attribute to someone hiring them based on popularity and visibility, but I think it would be extremely interesting if Instagram decided to make likes private, or make it a setting that you could turn on and off. Not only would that cancel out the game of desiring more likes/comparing someone else’s likes to your own, but it may actually help you feel less embarrassed/less of a failure/etc. if your post didn’t get as much traction.

Another option could be similar to the video function – what would be displayed is how many views were on your photo/video, rather than the “likes” on said photo.

Though we understand that this may never change, along with the fact that people that actually have a strong following will think this sounds very “participation trophy,” something like this might change the face of mental health in regards to social media completely.

Thoughts? Opinions? Comment below, or take the poll!

 

 

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