It took me a lot of thinking and a couple of conversations with some people I consider strong, intelligent, open-minded and more importantly not jealous of others, to write this blog. Even though this is my own opinion, I wanted to support it well so I did my research and found some facts. And more importantly, I put all kind of emotions aside not to sound "too personal".
My research has raised in my mind a few questions.
As you might know, in the name of "protecting" your mental health, recently Instagram decided to carry out a test in 7 countries ONLY to hide the amount of likes posts receive. I wonder why is it just a test and also why is it only in 7 countries when according to the World Health Organization, mental health is a world wide problem?
What is the definition of Mental Health?
"It is defined as a stable of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community" WHO
So by knowing the definition we can have a clear idea of what mental illness or disorders are.
If we are not emotionally stable, that instability can be easily triggered regardless the platform we might be on online. When I use the word "triggered" is because the condition already exists.
A study conducted by The Royal Society for Public Health, called #StatusOfMind, has indicated that Instagram is the worst social media platform for young people's mental health. Facebook also is part of the list, and what I find interesting is that Instagram is part of Facebook, so why don't they hide the likes on Facebook too to protect your mental health?
Without trying to be sarcastic, I woudl like to ask this: If we are "concerned" and would like to "help" an alcoholic, would you advise them to drink beer rather than wine, as beer has less alcohol volume? Or would you advice a drug addict to take class B drugs than A?
What might be truth behind it - Business?
According to my research, globally there are 25 million Instagram business accounts, however, only 2 million are advertising on the platform. This is a very low number in comparison to businesses advertsing on Facebook. So we can argue that the real idea behind "protecting" your mental health can be to encourage small businesses to advertise more.
Let's put it this way, who wants to go to a restaurant that has few likes on Instagram and doesn't sound popular? Or who wants to go to a disco that has cero or very little likes or who wants to click on an ad that has zero likes?
A bigger revelation: Mobile vs Laptops/Desktops
It is not a secret that mobile advertising is massive. We spend more time on our phone than on our laptops/desktops. A recent study found that on average, we spend 3 hours and 15 minutes - if not more - a day on our phones.
Instagram "good intentions" to protect your mental health by hiding the Likes is only on our mobile devices and not on our laptops/desktops - which I find AGAIN very interesting.
As you can see in the below screenshots, I can not see how many likes my latest post received on my mobile, however on my laptop is very visible it has received 27 little hearts (likes).
On my mobile
On my laptop
Love who you are and appeciate what you have
I consider myself a person who lives life with a very open mind. I am not and will never be negatively affected by the way people conduct themselves in life and this involves social media. However, my open mind tells me that not everybody is like me, and it is totally true. But if I can influence people positively because of the way I am, I am happy to do so.
I am very comfortable in my own skin. I have a very healthy view of who I am and what I have - which is the reason why I am not jealous or envious of other people, at all actually.
There are reasons for people to be who they are, or to look the way they do, or to have what they have, but those reasons do not have to do anything with you.
Do not compare yourself with anybody else. Be your own self. Be authentic and unique by using the space you have on earth. By looking for your real truth inwards not outwards. There is nobody like you, and you should appreciate that.
If you really get affected by how people conduct themselves online, stop, take a moment to think and reflect and ask yourself why, why am I allowing them to make me feel this way? Believe me, the answers might create wonders in you.
Lastly, try to enjoy being on social media regardless the amount of likes you might get. Remember you should value yourself more than having a little heart (like) given on Instagram.
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it the same way I enjoyed writing it.