I have something kind of icky to admit: I’ve stopped posting on my Instagram feed because my photos don’t actually get that many likes. I’m not great at funny captions and I still don’t have a go-to move for Boomerang. (Is Boomerang still a thing, even?) They say the algorithm favors selfies, except I can’t handle the way my skull scaffolding looks in photos.
So when it was announced last May that Instagram was testing out an update that would remove the number of likes racked up by a photo, I felt a huge sense of relief. Now we can all fill the emptiness by getting external validation the old-fashioned way: face to face out in the real world!
In all seriousness, this is great news, especially for people who are predisposed to anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness. According to Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK, “It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing—both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.” Considering the Philippines frequently tops world rankings when it comes to social media use, this is especially worrying, considering we lag behind when it comes to mental health awareness.
While the update has yet to roll out in the rest of the world (so far it is only being tested in Canada), I’ve already begun to imagine what kind of material might populate my sad, neglected feed if likes were no object. Here are some potential bangers. Or not. Who’s keeping score?
#1 Awkward dressing room selfies
I’m an indecisive shopper and I just want everybody’s opinion when it comes to what I should be spending my hard-earned dough on. Trying this the next time I’m trying on shoes at Charles & Keith or a new wrap dress from Plains & Prints.
#2 Hurried food photos
There’s nothing else I would want than to have my friends enjoy my Pancake House spaghetti, taco, and chicken platter, or my Sambokojin sushi plate with me, so that means my subpar photos of spectacular food will get a permanent spot on my feed.
#3 Random things at the grocery store
I once posted a photo of Toaster Strudel because it reminded me of Gretchen Weiner whose father was the inventor of Toaster Strudel. I think I may have deleted it from my feed and now, like that pink shirt, I want it back. (I might not find it at Hypermarket, but surely I can find something just as culturally relevant.)
Art by Tricia Guevara
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