Instagram to remove “likes”

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Cynthia Rossi, Staff Writer

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Recently, Instagram announced that they would be removing “likes” from posts. With social media growing more and more dangerous due to competition for attention and acceptance, how will the removal of “likes” benefit society as a whole? 

I first made an Instagram account when I was in seventh grade. Immediately, I began to feel a sense of satisfaction whenever I received another like or follower. Why did I feel such a rush of belonging whenever a meaningless post on social media received attention from others? Well, if you have ever felt this way too, you’re not alone. According to the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, receiving likes leads to higher activity in the “reward” center of the brain. In other words, likes and attention from others on social media promotes a “feel good” sensation in our minds. 

With the removal of likes, it is unsure how influencers whose income relies on sponsorships will be affected. With most brands, sponsorships are established with social media celebrities who have a high fanbase. Also, revenue made from sponsored posts sometimes depends upon the number of likes a sponsored post receives. However, with the rise of sponsored posts by brands like FlatTummyCo and other unhealthy weight loss programs, this could be in the best interest of social media users. 

Junior Hannah Sherinian expressed her confliction over this issue by stating, “I feel like removing likes altogether will be a beneficial thing for the mental health of Instagram users, but it’s messing with influencers’ income. Influencers rely on likes as a source of profit. Also, first it’s likes…what’s next? Comments? Followers?” 

Freshman Cooper Cross also shared his views: “I don’t think removing likes will be beneficial to Instagram users. With the use of Photoshop and other editing apps, the damage is already done.”

Overall, teens seeking validation on social media has and will be an urgent issue. As long as apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter stay relevant, so will the appetite for attention on those platforms. And with the never-ending progression of technology, it seems that these social media platforms will withstand the test of time.