By Amy Packham
An Instagram mum has been fiercely criticised for comparing the amount of likes her kids get on Instagram, saying her son “statistically” performs worse.
Katie Bower, a mum blogger from the US, shared a photo of her son Weston with a message about him growing up. Accompanying this message, Bower wrote: “Instagram never liked my munchkin and it killed me inside, his photos never got as many likes.”
The mum added: “From a statistical point of view, he wasn’t as popular with everyone out there.” She pondered whether he just never hit the Instagram algorithm right.
The post was soon deleted after receiving a series of negative comments, but journalist Stephanie McNeal screenshot the post and put it on Twitter.
Omg this Instagram mommy blogger is celebrating her sons bday by writing about how out of all her kids, he “statistically” performs the worse on her Instagram. And she’s worried one day it will ruin his self esteem 👀💀 pic.twitter.com/QpFfJwDOab
— Stephanie McNeal (@stephemcneal) November 19, 2018
McNeal’s tweet attacted thousands of replies and retweets online in a matter of hours, with people expressing their views towards the mum.
If you are an IG mommy blogger who’s afraid that how many likes on your child’s pictures is going to one day hurt his self esteem, your parenting is horrid and feel bad for your kid.
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) November 19, 2018
before she can teach her son ‘his value is not in online approval,’ she needs to learn that lesson herself.
— Lauren Kleiman (@laurkleiman) November 19, 2018
Every single day something makes me wonder how I ended up in a parallel universe. Today this one was it.
— FullMoonFreedom (@FullMoonFreedom) November 19, 2018
This is horrifying in so many ways.
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) November 19, 2018
Bowers later took to her Instagram stories to address the criticism surrounding her original post, explaining the caption she wrote was about personal growth.
The mum said Instagram was the first social media platform she had been on and she “fell hard for it” because she loved the community, engagement and beautiful imagery. “When I shared the pic about Weston being born and how wonderful he was and he didn’t get as many likes, that was a personal growth for me that I had to learn like everybody does,” she said on the video.
“I had to learn the likes do not reflect much to me, because I work with brands that tell you the opposite.”
The mum said she knows a lot of people won’t understand because their Instagram feed is not their livelihood – “It’s a weird job, I know” – but said the fact this is her job puts her in a different situation to others. She added that she doesn’t need her son to be ‘liked’. “I like him, he’s awesome.”
HuffPost UK has contacted Bowers for further comment and will update this piece if she responds.