Guest post written by Michael Ricci

Recently Instagram announced that they will be rolling out a new year feature on their platform that will remove like counts from pictures and videos posted on our personal profiles. 

I for one think this is a GREAT idea. Our world has become consumed with how many likes we get- if our post reaches double, triple, quadruple digits. Where our self worth has come directly from people “liking” our posts but not liking us for who we are, or what we have to say. Being judged strictly on what manipulated images we put onto Instagram. 

This feature couldn’t come soon enough. Gone should be the days where everything we do, everything we want to do, will be based on how many likes something will get. Do we not see how ridiculous and shallow our lives have become? I hope this will encourage people to share more, and more importantly  share honestly without the notion of worrying how many likes this will snag.

The “like culture” we have all been brainwashed to follow, the culture where nothing matters unless it’s been posted on social media and has received the mandatory 300 likes. 

Where we are all too busy refreshing our posts, hoping and praying that our pictures receives the validation we all so desperately require. Where we no longer live our lives for us but for our “followers”, its like the high school popularity contest has managed to weasel its way into many of our adult lives. I understand that human nature is wanting to be appreciated, but let's not kid ourselves to think that these vapid empty ‘likes’ do anything but damage our inner sense of worth. 

Its even gotten to the point where hundreds of corporations preying on these insecurities  have begun “selling” Instagram likes, where people are spending hundreds of dollars trying to make their pages look better with inflated numbers and followers. What to make us look and feel better? For who? Our co workers? An acquaintances we met at a bar once? Shouldn’t we be looking back on these said posts and remember how great that family vacation was or how great that new hairstyle you had was a few years ago. We have attributed all of our memories to a number, where if a certain picture didn’t get the likes you thought, then it’s simply not as good as a picture as you thought.

We have become obsessed with racking up as many likes, followers, and online praise in general that the little tiny number at the bottom of our pictures is what is making us whole. Isn’t the saying its better to have 1 close friend than 5 bad ones? So by that notion isn’t it better to have 10 meaningful likes over 10,000 meaningless ones? 

We have to remember that likes mean NOTHING. Comments mean NOTHING. And here comes the shocker.. Instagram means NOTHING. Be who you want to be, post what you want to post, and ignore the rest. We shouldn’t be defined by any numbers in our life, the numbers on our scales, the numbers of our age, or the silly numbers on our social media.