Earlier this year, Instagram announced that they were beta-testing their new feature — the ability to hide “likes.” This came as a shock to many people and was quickly followed and met with relief.
Instagram hurts mental health
Within the past five or so years, Instagram has become a cesspool of influencers and celebrities using the platform as a means to make money and gain clout. What was once a simple place to post photos of your lunch and your dog, became a overly high-def filtered monster that left a lot of us questioning the visuals of reality, eating disorders, mental health struggles, and playing the doomed game of “keep up with the Joneses.”
Making the change
A few weeks ago, I saw a banner on my home feed that offered up the opportunity to hide my likes and hide the likes of the people on my feed. I came in with the quickness and immediately took that opportunity like my life depended on it. I can’t tell you how nice it was to see “liked by (insert IG handle) and others.” AND OTHERS. No numbers, no pressure to like something on my feed that my mutuals liked, no anxiety about how well my post was doing among the people who followed me, nothing. Just to be clear, while the number of likes are hidden, you can still click into the likes and see who liked it. But honestly, who’s doing that?
The relationship I have with IG is dramatically different now. I feel a sense of agency that I didn’t have before. I can actually use this platform the way I want to and not worry about the importance of how I am perceived and I don’t have to mentally harp on the validation quantities or allow those quantities to dictate my self-worth as a creative (and to be honest, as a person who’s just existing).
How to hide IG “likes”
For those who want to try it out, you can hide likes by following the steps below:
- Go to your profile page and click the three horizontal bars in the top right corner, then select “Settings”
- Next, go to “Privacy” followed by “Posts” and select “Hide Likes and View Counts”
- Enjoy being free from the pressure
Photo via CNN Business