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Adam Mosseri is the man behind “Project Daisy,” or the recent initiative to make Instagram likes only visible to whoever posted the photo. Now this issue has gotten a lot of coverage this past year as Instagram has tested out the idea in several countries already. Although this story is important to some, upon hearing about this whole situation I couldn’t help but think to myself how absolutely ridiculous our world is becoming regarding our obsession over every aspect of our social media accounts.
With that being said, OF COURSE we should get rid of seeing other people’s Instagram likes. What benefit is there to scrolling through your feed just to see that “Hot Becky” is getting 600 likes per photo, with guys commenting all sorts of emojis, while you, “Ugly Ulga,” are growing more self-conscious by the second as you only get 20 likes per photo. The worst part about this whole situation, is that it is not just Ugly Ulga growing more self-conscious, but Becky as well, as Instagram provides an endless stream of there always being someone more popular and desirable than yourself. I mean seriously, I understand this is my biased opinion, but I challenge anyone to tell me one benefit of others being able to see how many likes you get, and vice versa.
Don't be fooled by my disdain for Instagram’s whole liking system, as I myself also shamefully am a member of the Instagram community, and have many a times subject myself to self-criticism or obsessive tendencies regarding my online popularity. Pretty much every day, my morning routine is to roll over in bed, grab my phone, and immediately open all of my social media accounts to see if there’s anything new awaiting me. Spoiler alert: most of the time there is nothing special. Yet, even with there being nothing worth a second look, I sometimes still find the motivation to sit there, in bed, behind my phone for hours avoiding getting my day going. To be quite honest, as I have been writing this essay, I took a couple of breaks just to peep at my phone pointlessly. So, for my own benefit, and all others affected by this topic, I will not miss publicizing Instagram likes if the company chooses to do away with them.
All of this is not to say that absolutely no one benefits from having their likes shown to the Instagram community. Social media influencers, although still gaining traction as a financially stable career path, make a living off of their followers and number of likes. Brands need to see the numbers when considering sponsoring any influencer, and to have Instagram do away with likes would provide a huge lack of incentive for companies to sponsor social media personalities. Yet, still, in my personal opinion I could care less what happens to a few Instagram models if it means that the overall happiness of an increasingly self-deprecating youth improves.
What would also be incredible about the removal of likes being public to everyone is that there would be no outside pressures to like certain posts because others you know have liked it, or not to like certain posts because your fearful of people seeing that you liked something strange. It would truly allow users to focus on the content put in front of them rather than the social implications behind a like.
Griffin Finck, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s media law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question: Likes on Instagram may be going away. Will you miss them if they do? How will people know what to like? The class covers copyright and social media. Griffin is a Journalism major.
Contact Jon and his team today.