Instagram…But Without The Likes or Followers?

Instagram discusses creating a stress-free app by hiding the follower and like counts from profiles


photo by Autumn BC

Autumn BC, Staff Writer

What is the true purpose of social media? Is it for better communication? Or for our status?

Throughout my high school years, I have noticed how obsessed people are over the amount of likes they get on a picture or the amount of followers they have. I’ve found myself questioning if I have enough followers and wanting more likes on my most recent post — we all have. But what would happen if that all went away and if social media became stress free?

Recently, a post has been fluttering around social media about Instagram reportedly creating a better, stress-free environment for users on the platform. The alleged plan is to hide follower and like counts from profiles — meaning that only you can see the likes you have on a post and only you can see how many followers you have. To many, if not most teenagers, this sounds like a horrible idea.

“I feel like one of the main reasons people are incentivized to post is because of likes, and taking that away might cause people to post less.””

— Spencer Greenberg

Spencer Greenberg is one of the many teenagers opposed to this idea.

“I’m happy Instagram wants to alleviate stress, but I don’t know anyone who thinks this would be a good idea,” explained Greenberg. “I feel like one of the main reasons people are incentivized to post is because of likes, and taking that away might cause people to post less.”

However, some students have mixed emotions — and if anything, they think it may be beneficial.

“I would like it because it’s would be comparable to Visco, where there is more emphasis on the picture itself, rather than the types of people who see it,” explained Nicole DelVecchio. “You won’t feel insecure posting.”

“I personally feel it would be more stress free,” said junior Audra Sapp. “I don’t have a problem with how the app is now, but I would be interested on how it would work out”.

Instagram and other social media platforms have sometimes been associated with high levels of anxiety, depression, bullying, and stress; all the more common is FOMO, a term used to describe the “fear of missing out.”  A recent survey taken by 1,500 teens and young adults by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has ranked the top biggest platforms from one, being most positive, to five, being most negative. Out of the five social platforms included in the survey, YouTube ranked highest for positive health and wellbeing. Twitter came in second, followed by Facebook, then Snapchat in fourth — Instagram was the caboose.

“Previous studies have suggested that young people who spend more than two hours a day on social networking sites are more likely to report psychological distress,” explained Amanda MacMillan for a Time article. 

Thanks in part to Time and other news websites, there has been a lot of controversy about the use of social media and how it affects young people. Maybe Instagram is finally taking things into their own hands and controlling the situation before things get worse than they already have.

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