Growing up in the age of 'likes'

Tying one's self-worth to the number of followers or 'likes' on social media can be damaging for teens and create pressure for them to conform to what is seen as popular

Since May, social media platforms Facebook and Instagram (both left) have given users the option to hide the public "like" tallies racked up by posts.
Since May, social media platforms Facebook and Instagram have given users the option to hide the public "like" tallies racked up by posts. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ISTOCKPHOTO
Since May, social media platforms Facebook and Instagram (both left) have given users the option to hide the public "like" tallies racked up by posts.
Since May, social media platforms Facebook and Instagram (both above) have given users the option to hide the public "like" tallies racked up by posts. PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ISTOCKPHOTO
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Remember the days when the most popular person in school was the football captain, head prefect or prom queen?

For those in school today, the most popular people are likely those with the largest numbers of followers on social media.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 04, 2021, with the headline Growing up in the age of 'likes'. Subscribe