Kerry Goyette, for Business Insider:
When we’re getting hearts or likes or shares, it triggers the reward center in the brain. When we feel like we’re not getting approval – even if it’s from something we believe to be trivial like “not enough” likes – it can trigger emotional pain and fear of being left out. Why? Because the brain is always assessing belonging.
Research shows us that likes on social media do provide a boost, but only in the short term. Your dopamine goes up, but pretty soon you’ll need another boost. In other words, likes can feel nice and curb the hunger, yet they won’t feed the soul.
It is crazy to think how a “simple” feature can affect us so much. I wonder if the original developers of Instagram had thought of it upfront.