Flashback to March 2015 when I first got my Instagram. Yes, in a lot of ways I’m a late bloomer. My posts usually consisted of bad selfies, android-quality pictures of cheap food, and buckets of beer that symbolized how much fun I was having. During this time, having a picture’s likes go from names to numbers felt like an accomplishment. Like, “fuck yeah, tatertotfreak69 loved my selfie strategically taken to show I was reading a book. Now it’s eleven likes, SCORE!”- I proudly exclaimed. Back then, the more likes I got, the more I wanted. I was hungry for more. I was basically the plant monster from Little Shop of Horrors and not a lot has changed since then.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m slightly more self-obsessed than your average bear. My phone has thousands of selfies I took at times I was “feeling myself.” So naturally, I share some of this moments in my social media platforms. I’ve repeatedly tried not to care about the like ratio on my posts, but somehow it still affects my social media experience. Having a picture (especially a selfie) not hit at least around 100 likes, makes me consider deleting it. It’s disgusting, I know. I’ve narrowed down the reasons why a like count is so important to me.
Validation: I like to think I don’t need validation from others. If I am feeling attractive or good about myself, those are usually sentiments that comes from within. So why does it feel so good when others acknowledge it? I was told that these core feelings came from seeking validation from others. While I believe there is some truth to that statement, I think that it is human nature to want to be liked. It becomes a problem when you change in order to be liked. I am the same person on-and-off social media (just with less filters). But I can understand the correlation between a desire to get likes and a desire to be liked.
Jealousy: It bothers me when a person who “doesn’t deserve likes” gets them. Have you ever came across a person who is as basic as box bread and is getting three times as many likes as you? Doesn’t it just grind your gears? I am listening to myself, I know how immature and jealous I sound. I am working towards changing this issue, but I have to admit that jealousy of others does play a part in my problematic Instagram stances.
Delusion: Maybe I don’t deserve likes. Maybe I think too highly of myself when in reality, I’m just getting the results I deserve. I’ve been called delusional before, but never before this article had I truly considered it.
Who knew likes on a picture could make me come to such profound self-realizations?
Whether it is validation, jealousy, delusion, or just a complete still-unexplored issue, it is important to know that I am aware of the problematic nature of this concern. This generation is full of people-pleasers and those who measure their worth based on an amount of likes. The fact that a like amount is a current issue in my life reflects a maturity level I have yet to reach. I am sure that sometime in the future, I am going to read this post and laugh at how insignificant this issue really is. But in the meantime, go to this link (Juan’s instagram) and please, oh please like all my selfies!