Instagram might hide likes to save us all from social media anxiety


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Social media is like trying to get as many people as possible to sign your yearbook. Human nature dictates that we should care what people think of our social media presence. But it’s a little game that no one really wants to play. The simple act of sharing photos and videos with friends has morphed into a most bizarre popularity contest that only serves to increase social media anxiety. When will we graduate from caring about being popular?

It would seem that the creators of the major social media platforms understand they’re fueling an unhealthy obsession. Instagram is allegedly testing a new feature that to hides likes altogether, reports Mashable. And according to Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, there’s too much emphasis on the ‘likes’ among users of his platform.

Scientific studies show just how much social media affects our mental health with a direct correlation between social media use and depression. It’s making us more anxious, too. Anecdotally, you’ve probably felt social media anxiety at some point. It’s been 15 minutes and this photo only has three likes—should I take it down?

Instagram screenshots suggest how the company might envision the app without likes. “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” an in-app message says, alongside the screenshots. Asked about this major change, a spokesperson told Mashable that Instagram is “exploring ways to reduce pressure on Instagram.” This doesn’t mean you’ll completely miss out on positive feedback from your friends (and randoms who follow you). While the number of likes wouldn’t show, it would show the handles of a few people who did like it.

If this change comes to fruition, imagine what social media might become. Would you still post a beautiful photo of wildflowers, your friends, your matcha? Or would you simply keep your phone in your pocket and enjoy the experience.

Living in the moment. What was that like again?

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