Sometimes, when we see something we like on Instagram, we immediately want to show our love for it. The act of liking or ‘hearting’ a post on Instagram can accomplish this by just tapping. Liking can also extend to the comments, which can be done on all comments posted.
Liking a comment on Instagram is a simple way anyone can use to show their appreciation for your comment or post. It’s a quick alternative to typing out your thanks in a separate comment.
However, thanks to the evolution of social interaction on the Internet, the like button has changed from just simple appreciation. The context of the situation, and the people involved, will change what a like on Instagram can mean.
What It Means To Be Liked
Usual Meanings Behind Likes
The following are the major meanings behind getting a like on Instagram:
- Appreciation – The most immediate reason anyone would ever like a comment is to show appreciation. This is usually for helpful comments or support for the photo or video posted. Sometimes, when a comment is funny or amusing, people want to show it and let the original commenter know.
- Support – Giving out a like is the easiest way most people can show support. Especially when debates and arguments are seen, the comment with the most likes usually means that more people agree with the commenter. This is also seen in political circles, where the number of likes a comment can get becomes a point of pride.
- Increased Interaction – Instagram, like all apps, relies on algorithms. Algorithms determine whether a post can be seen by a lot of people or none at all. The same idea works for comments, except it’s more limited in the post itself. Liking a comment can help increase the chances of the comment being seen, which is essential if the comment carries an important message.
- Mutual Attraction – Lately, liking a post or comment has developed a form of social meaning appreciation. When romance and crushes are involved, a simple like could be a way for the person they like to show they like the commenter. It’s become part of the contemporary romantic fantasy to imagine their crush liking their stuff back.
- Friendliness – Likes are ways for strangers to interact. Some people can use a like to make a person more comfortable with sharing their comments and invite further discussion.
Negative Meanings of Likes
While there are many ways to interpret a like, not all are positive. Just like how people can be sarcastic in real life, a like on a comment can be negative:
- Awkwardness – Maybe it’s a comment where someone made a bad joke or said something unintelligent. Or maybe someone feels too awkward to say anything. Instead of saying something mean in a reply, people can settle for a like to make them feel like they agree, even if it’s not the case.
- Pity Like – A pity like is when someone likes what you said out of compassion, not for genuine appreciation. You usually give out a pity like for something you think isn’t impressive, but you can see that the original poster put a lot of thought into it. You’ll give a like since you don’t want them to feel bad about the lack of likes. This might seem like a form of mercy, but it can be accidentally malicious if the original poster finds out.
- Nothing – Sometimes, a like can just mean nothing. It’s normal for people to interact with content on the Internet without having any deeper intentions. Whether it’s because they’re genuinely happy about everything they see, or they’re doing it mindlessly, you will receive a like that means absolutely nothing.
Anything you leave on an Instagram post will notify the original creator. That would mean any comment, and like you make, they will know. You’ll see it on the top corner of the app, where a prominent empty heart symbol will be, on the notification page.
Comments work the same. Liking or commenting on another person’s comment will alert them that someone interacted with their comment.
While this is usually a positive, sometimes it can be uncomfortable. Getting a like from someone you hate isn’t exactly an appealing thing. Some partners get jealous when their partner interacts with another person’s comment or post.
This can also be awkward for people with secret crushes that they can’t, or won’t, admit. Accidentally liking someone’s comment can become a nightmare for people who are trying to be discreet with their attraction.
Removing your like doesn’t notify the original person. It will just remove the notification of you liking their comment or post.
Since it’s clear what getting a like could mean, it’s time that we talk about the meaning of unliking something. Just as the name suggests, unliking is when you remove your like for something on Instagram.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram doesn’t have a dislike button or buttons that give out different reactions. This can be difficult since not everything we see on the Internet is something we like or agree with. That’s where the unlike comes in.
Usually, unliking is done to something that you’ve already left a like on. When you see a person acting in a way you don’t like, or you see them post something you disagree with, you can take back the like as a way to show your disagreement.
Depending on who you’re doing this, it could either mean a lot to them or not really matter. Unliking a celebrity’s post doesn’t mean much since they receive hundreds of likes on their posts and comments every day. If it’s a close friend who did something to hurt your feelings, removing a like for something could be a clear message of your negative emotions to them.
By the end of the day, context is the most critical factor to consider when interpreting an action. So if you want to know what a person wants by liking your comment, you have to know who the person is first.
The safest bet is to assume that a person is just trying to show their appreciation.