So it’s like this: many people don’t know of the silent epidemic affecting most of the U.S. population. Seen in ages as early as 10, and commonly seen in teens and young adults, the long-term effects may include depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. The widespread occurrence of this infectious disease is called using-social-media-to-measure-our-self-worth-and-control-our-overall-happiness. And in 2019, when Instagram likes act like holding onto the handles on a train car, it’s really hard not to get sick.

Now we’ve all heard that social media is bad speech. It glues us to our phones, causes us to miss out on real human interaction and we’re create unrealistic body images that warp our ideas on beauty. Most of us can agree it has many harmful effects. I think creating social media is the worst thing that the U.S. introduced since Bush, honestly. Still, along with millions of others, I wake up, snooze my alarm and before I even get out of bed, I check to see if anything has changed on Instagram in the seven hours that I was incapable of checking it. 

Thankfully, a cure has been created to remedy our social media. No, Mark Zuckerberg didn’t decide to shut down Facebook and stop profiting off of everyone’s personal information. Nor did we return to the time when we all can return to life where once following strangers was actually creepy. However, Instagram’s CEO Adam Mosseri announced at the Wired25 summit that the app will be getting rid of public “likes” on photos. "We will make decisions that hurt the business if they help people's well-being and health," Mosseri stated.

Now there is a lot of skepticism as to why Instagram would do such a thing when so many people post on Instagram for that gratifying “like” to celebrate a post well done. A few have theorized that it doesn’t have to do with Instagram’s capacity to have compassion for their users at all. A wise man once said, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” Did I mention Instagram was owned by Facebook? 

Some would say removing likes from photos is unfair to Instagram influencers whose endorsements depends on those double taps for sponsorship. Truthfully, I couldn’t shed a single tear over a person’s being inability to sell me junk they know nothing about. Our minds are saturated in TV ads, newspaper ads, billboard ads, email ads, direct mails ads and those are just a few visual ones. So goodbye, Instagram likes. I don’t want to be a part of a game of Simon says with people I’ve never met promoting products they don’t actually use.

Now two things should be noted here. First, there’s still going to be ads, it’ll just be from Instagram. For a while, the platform had only been getting a piece of this advertisement money pie and now it’s coming for the whole thing. Second, many other countries like Canada have already got rid of Instagram likes and they seem to be managing. Hopefully we can take advantage of this situation and show that we’re not going to let the Internet take away what it means to be human. Instagram likes shouldn’t conceptualize how we feel about our self-worth, and while we still need to battle out many more social media evils, at least we can stop battling with our sense of self and others perception of us. 

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