You can delete posts, but likes are forever

Mari Davis, Reporter

Everybody’s heard the phrase at least once in their lives – “The internet is forever.” You can delete a post on Instagram, you can set your Snapchat story to private, but screenshots and archives last forever. One of the things that people rarely think about is what they like. Double tapping on a post is so easy, and it feels so harmless, but likes can lead to public embarrassment, obsession, stress, etc.


For example, in 2017 Ted Cruz liked a graphic photo on Twitter, where everything you like is publicly displayed on your profile. His team started damage control pretty soon after people started sharing screenshots of Cruz’s profile displaying the liked tweet. His communications director, Catherine Frazier, stated, “The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter.” 


Social media outlets like Instagram have even considered removing the like feature, because the obsession with how many likes a post receives can negatively affect users. Instagram wants it’s users to chase creativity, not public approval or instant gratification. In an interview with a male sophomore from Overland who chose to keep his identity private, he stated, “I mean everybody wants to be famous, and I understand how people can be affected by public reaction, but I don’t think it’s Instagram’s job to regulate what people do. They write the code so they make money, and people’s feelings don’t make them money, advertising does. It matters, but I don’t think that it matters that much.”


In the end, likes are a modern creation that nobody really knows the long term effects of. They obviously affect users mental health, politician’s images, and can put a lot of pressure on everyday people to be perfect, rather than themselves.


You can refer to Ricoya Black’s article, “How Social Media Affects Girls” for more information.