“I think Instagram has something against me,” I told my brother on a recent phone call. “I mean, my posts used to get 400-plus likes. I deleted a bunch of old posts and now my new ones are only getting 50 likes. I think my IG is broken.”

I said this jokingly, but at the same time, felt frustrated and a bit discouraged. The quality of my work hadn’t changed, but the exposure of it had. In a way that was out of my control.

I thought about this a bit. So the number of little red hearts I received for a post could affect how I felt about myself and my writing abilities?

Thankful at least for the self-awareness, I knew that if I was starting to find self-worth and approval in the opinions of people I’d never met and an algorithm I had no control over, then something had to change.

Susie Moore, in her book Quit Checking Your Likes: Shake off the Need for Approval and Live an Incredible Life, writes: “Likes have become the current measurement of external…

This is only a snippet of a Happiness article written by Julia Ubbenga

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