Instagram has slowly stopped showing likes on people’s profiles across several markets.
Over time they may roll it all its users across the world.
The reason for this change is the all-round pressure on social networks about how they are not good for people’s mental health.
This change is only for followers. The creators can see the number of likes. They’ll not have it instantly visible as earlier. They’ll have to tap through to see them.
It is a welcome change.
Because social networks have conditioned our brains to want more likes on anything we post. When that does not happen, we think there is a problem with us. Or when someone else posts something and gets more likes than us then we think they are happier than us. Such thinking can screw a person’s life. And, in a world fueled by likes, this is the reality for almost everyone with a smartphone.
We can’t go to live in a jungle but we can change how we think about it. First, we need to understand that it is ok to not get likes on what we post. More than likes we should seek growth. And, know that growth comes from the consistent effort in the right direction, and with deliberate practice. don’t stop when they don’t.
In a scenario when social media likes are not in sight at all times of the day, we can judge something based on what we actually think about it. As creators, we’ll have comfort in knowing that the likes or lack of it, is probably due to the size of our audience and not because of how good or valuable we are.
Marketers will also be fine. They can still calculate reach through, the share of voice, mentions, and sentiments. For middle, lower-funnel they can still use click-throughs, etc
I guess normal users will accept this as another change, and continue to seek validation through whatever other means are available.
But it is important to understand that happiness is more important than validation and tying our happiness and fulfillment to meeting certain numbers is not healthy.
Great if we can go back to our roots, and practice what we were taught. I at one point learned that it is not wise to talk about your spiritual practice. Which I tried and it has served me well.
Over the course of time, I have also realized that a good part of what I do is not to show off, but for self-growth. Putting stuff out helps me in that growth, and then in my heart, I also feel that if we have chosen ‘gaining attention as our life’s work, then we should learn to do it well.
While we continue to what we do, we can also spend time for our internal growth, then if we are lucky and evolve, then we’ll probably get internal guidance to stop wanting validation and do everything to help others, without worrying about – what it gets us.
Till that happens – we should go all-in on the path we choose for ourselves. It is much better than morally breaking ourselves into two pieces, and being neither here, nor there.
To strike the balance, we can do some good deeds in private and not talk about those unless there is an inner calling to share these things with others as the ‘wise one’. And at other times, share our work stand on the center stage. Even when we seek reach we can have space in our hearts and know that we are not doing all of it for ourselves but for the greater good of humanity or at least a small part of it.
A move from selfish selling (win-lose) to honest selling (win-win) is a good first for anyone who is looking to strike such balance.
Hope it helps 🙂