Can Instagram’s new feature stop the affects of social media on mental health ?

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Instagram released its new feature of not displaying the total number of likes to anyone except to the person who uploaded it. Even thought this features is not yet available in all the locations, people are showing a positive response to it in locations where it is available. In this era, the use of social media has increased and have billions of users. With so many users, it has become a go to platform when you need to share something with the world but as your life go virtual, privacy becomes the concern which even after decades of social media existence, is still an issue.

Privacy is not the only concern. A study suggests that use of social media is somehow tied to negative mental health outcome including suicidal, loneliness and decreased empathy. There are many more issues regarding mental health like affecting self esteem, FOMO, loss of human connection and lack of physical activity, all these issues are just because of being glued to the screen all the time.

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If we talk about Instagram, in particular affecting the mental health, the most common source of it is “Likes” and “follower”. Most people are too concerned about the number of likes they receive on their posts and often compare it with others. To get more number of likes, people often filters their pictures in order to make it perfect which is a sign of low self esteem. People often experience low self esteem when someone they know is getting more likes than them. Some people are so affected with this ridiculous concept that they start experiencing depression, anxiety and unwanted. That little rush one gets when their post gets a like is actually their brain getting a hit of dopamine. The more likes, the more hits. The more you get, the more you want. This is a destructible loop and is affecting mental health and self-worth. One can easily see how much likes are affecting people’s mental health and so did Instagram. Instagram came up with this simple yet important feature that could easily if not stop than reduce such affects on mental health.

Likes matter ? Won’t anymore

Instagram came up with this simple but amazing feature which hides the number of likes from your posts. Yes you read it right. Instagram won’t show the number of likes on your post to anyone except you. So It doesn’t matter how much likes you have on your post because no one can see it.

This feature was introduced in Instagram a couple of weeks ago. Even though it has not been implemented on every user, people are showing positive response and praising Instagram for the step. Some people claims that Instagram did this as a market strategy for earning more money whereas some claims it to be a step to reduce fake likes and fake followers. There is no official words from Instagram on why they did it but for whatever reason Instagram did this, it has a positive effect on user. Although it wont eliminate all the issues that are affecting users mental health, its definitely a step forward.