Likes, Comments, & Shares – Social Currency

Image: A hand holding a phone with a like notification painted on the wall above it.

Social media has connected the world unlike anything else ever has.  You can keep in contact with friends and family with ease as while as share individual experiences with the world.  Social media has undeniably changed how we all interact with one another, but can it also lead to negative outcomes?

Social media is often times used as a stage to compare your individual life with others.  Likes, comments, and shares can become an unhealthy form of social currency. Social currency is defined by Wikipedia as “shared information that encourages further social encounters”. Comparing your life to others can lead to feelings of isolation, jealousy, or the dreaded fear of missing out (FOMO).  In some cases, mental health issues can be associated with social comparison.

Looking at social networking sites as a collection of your memories and using it in a nostalgic way is a healthier use of this platform. Instagram has recently offered a way to hide like counts on users’ posts in an effort to transform Instagram into a place where users can focus on the media they share – not the number of likes that their posts get.

Instead of using social media as a place of constant comparison, try viewing it as an online scrapbook to look back and remember all the amazing things you have experienced with those you love and care for.

What are some ways that you use social media as social currency? If you use Instagram, would you consider turning off your likes?

Moderator ★

Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: We look forward to talking to you!

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