Psychologists and Influencers weigh in on Instagram hiding likes

47 ABC – Starting next week Instagram will start hiding likes for some users on the platform. The company says they are doing it take the pressure off young people and make it less of a competition.

Under the new feature, users will still be able to see how many likes they receive, but won’t be able to see how many likes other users have on their photos.

“I think it is a step in the right direction, but I think it is a small band-aid for a much larger problem,” said psychologist Dr. Sam Scott with The Child and Family Center.

Scott said a bigger problem is that teens and children look for that instant gratification that getting a ‘like’ on Instagram provides. Scotts says because users will still be able to see how many likes they get if they don’t get the amount they want it could have negative effects.

“When kids are looking for that validation and don’t get it their minds go a hundred miles an hour probably in a very negative path and so people don’t like me, I’m not cool enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not skinny enough, my family’s not rich enough, you name it,” said Dr. Scott.

Aside from how it will affect young people though, social media influencers are also anxiously waiting to see how the change may affect them.

“Everybody’s a little on edge about it because Instagram, I feel like they don’t really tell us everything that they’re doing. They kind of say this is the big thing and then they throw in 10 other things,” said blogger and social media influencer Nikki Wright, who has 14.1 thousand followers on her account @xoxoHNW.

For Wright, being a blogger and influencer is her full-time job and admits she’s a little concerned the move may affect her. However, she also understands why the social media platform is making the move.

“Hopefully it won’t change too much for me, but as I can imagine as a teenager how much likes mean to these girls and it’s really kind of sad almost because that shouldn’t be where your validation lies,” Wright said.

In the end, only time will tell, but folks 47 ABC spoke to have high hopes.

“Maybe it will help kids a little bit, so they’re not feeling as much pressure on the app to get as many likes or see who has as many likes so I do think it could possibly help in that regard,” said Dan Flaherty.

 

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