Recently Instagram announced that it will begin testing removing the number next to the “likes” we get. Likes can cause a thrill and enjoyment to see how much other viewers liked the content that you posted. But it could also have its negative side of not getting as many likes as one would have hoped, or worse that dreaded negative comment underneath the adorable picture of your new puppy.
What effect does having displayed “likes” have on mental health?
Likes could be seen as a ranking system. For example, “My *insert subject of post* was worthy because it received a lot of likes.” Having the likes displayed on social media sites could lead to a decrease in self esteem and body image due to either seeing a large amount of filtered posts, or not receiving many likes on a recent post.
For some it could also become an obsessive behavior that results in constant checking and refreshing to see the number of likes increase. It could also lead to the removal of the posts due to not receiving enough likes.
This article has some wonderful tips on utilizing self-care while being on social media. The important one, being take a break when you need it. It can be overwhelming to be wrapped up in a family members post, a friend’s relationship dram, or an attachment to an unhealthy relationship.
Don’t get me wrong, social media can be wonderful! When used in moderation and with some self-awareness it can be a wonderful means of communication and connection.