Like or No Likes. Here’s How to Stop Letting Instagram Define Your Worth.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

It took me a couple of messages from friends, a few refreshes and a notification from Instagram itself before I realised that all my likes were gone.

As someone who essentially relies on these little cues of social approval for income, my reaction to the change was considerably, well, non-existent.
If it wasn’t for the hype, my curious friends and influx of media coverage I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it at all.

Yet, here I am writing a blog post about it, because, for a while now I’ve had the topic of Instagram and self-worth on my ‘must write’ list. And since Instagram’s recent change is forcing us all to think about it, I thought now would be the perfect time to throw my view in too.

I think my reaction to the removal of likes was underwhelming because, I have never let the numbers determine my worth, even before the change. Clearly though, Instagram’s decision proves that this is not the case for everyone.

For some people, it can be all-consuming, directly affect their mood, control what they post, make them compare, trick them into feeling happy, or sad, or worse;

lesser than somebody else. 

Now, I’m still human, so naturally I’ve fallen into the trap of letting Instagram likes dictate how I feel from time-to-time. Nobody is immune, but for someone who does this as a job, I’d say I’m pretty good at separating my self-worth from whatever is happening on my account.

For those of you who needed a revolutionary app change to do the trick, here’s my best advice…

Remember why you’re creating in the first place. Did you have fun doing it? Did you walk away proud? Did you grow or learn something in the process? Did you capture a memory you never want to forget?

When I am satisfied with my answers to the above, I am satisfied no matter how many likes I get online.

Funnily enough, I am hardest on myself when creating. It’s not the likes that get me. It’s when I’m thinking about the client brief, photo quality, story of the post and how it can best represent the brand I am creating for. 

But I always finish a job proud. That way I am completely secure in the fact that what I’ve posted is my absolute best, and I don’t need likes to validate that. I already know it as fact.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, put life first. Don’t create for Instagram, create for you. When you do that, I think you’ll find that you’ll find more happiness outside of this little app than you could ever get from likes.

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