Instagram adds options to combat mental-health effects

In the past year, Instagram has been accused of promoting numerous negative traits in teenagers. Recently the social media platform has made a change to their options that allows users to hide the number of likes they receive on a post.

“I think this new option is better for the mental health of teenagers because it allows for people to take away the comparative aspect that is normalized on the platform,” sophomore Ava Dalessandro said. “Wondering why your post got less likes than another person’s post or even one of your previous posts can cause some to question themselves and their appearance.”

By choosing this new option when posting on the platform, users can simply share pictures that express themselves and no longer have to compete for likes. 

“When you can no longer see that number it makes it easier to simply just post without the worry of not meeting certain numerical expectations,” Dalessandro said. “This makes it easier for teenagers to have fun and be less stressed when using the app.” 

While the negativity from the competition of likes is now eased, sophomore London Burke views the overall issue as the actual pictures being posted.

“I do believe that the platform’s changes have helped create a more mental healthy social media, but often for individuals they don’t look at the likes, but the picture that is posted,” Burke said. “Oftentimes when people see an Instagram post, they don’t compare the likes but compare themselves with the image. I do think that creating a new option to hide one’s likes is a smart idea, but will only slightly create a mental-health resistance for the users.” 

This popular view of the main problem of Instagram is comparing oneself to those in the pictures they are viewing. This problem was what led to Instagram being seen negatively in the past year, when teenagers began to develop mental illnesses about how their body looks compared to others.

“Whenever I see it I just brush it off,” freshman Presley Racca said. “I think seeing the amount of likes doesn’t matter because it all depends on how many followers the person has. I suppose it could be better for other people but personally for me, I really don’t really mind because it doesn’t affect me in any way.” 

By Ethan Bergman