Instagram Took Away My Likes

Outfit Details: Jumpsuit // Similar Booties // Other Similar Booties

Dear Instagram User,

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, you know that Instagram has now started taking away the ability to see other users like counts. My personal account was put on the list as one of the first groups to get my like count viewability revoked. I have been living with this new Instagram feature for about a week now and I am here to report that the Earth is still spinning, I am still breathing and that when it happens to you, you too will survive. No need to panic.

It’s no secret that social media has the ability to be a toxic place if used in the wrong manner. The comparison game and constant highlight reel is inevitable. With that comes some self-esteem issues and thus even some mental health issues. Instagram is trying to combat that, cue the like change. Instagram started testing this new feature earlier this year in 7 countries around the world: New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Australia. After a period of time, what was the result of this test you may ask? Overall, it generally led to positive sentiment. With that, CEO Adam Mosseri decided it was time to roll out this new update to the U.S.

You now may be asking yourself why this change was even necessary in the first place. Well, according to Mosseri, the idea was to try to depressurize Instagram making it less of a competitive space, encourage users to post, connect and engage more and reduce social comparison and anxiety. He’s also discussed Instagram’s growing interest in being able to shop right on the app allowing Influencers and brands a new revenue stream.

If you aren’t aware, influencers usually get on brands’ radars for potential collaborations and sponsored posts (one way they make an income) by their engagement rate (how many people are liking, commenting, sharing and saving your post), by your content quality, direct conversions, positive return on investment and by their follower counts. Mosseri knows that influencers are a huge part of Instagram’s success as their audiences are the ones that continue to log into the app day after day to check in on their favorites. These content creators are vital to the success of the app and Instagram is aware of the fact that if this new update impacts the success of influencers, it may reconsider the change. In my opinion, that’ll never happen.

So now you may be wondering how I feel after a week of not being able to see anybody’s likes. Well first let me clarify, I can see my own like count. I can see the exact number of likes all of my posts receive. I cannot see the amount of likes another user’s post receives. Under your post where it used to say “liked by __ and 100 others” for example, it now just says “liked by __ and others”. You still have the ability though to like people’s content. You can still tap that little heart and show your love.

Honestly, I think this update is fabulous. I honestly do feel way less pressure posting content. I honestly feel like I can post whatever I want to whenever I want to. Get ready for 3, 4, maybe ever 5 posts a day (kidding of course, who has time for that).

But in all seriousness, I’m not mad about this change whatsoever. I feel like if anything, it’s encouraging me and pushing me to be more creative. I really have to work for that like, earn that like and when a post performs well, I get personal satisfaction knowing that people didn’t have to like it, but they still did anyway. I even love that I can’t see other people’s likes. It did make me feel bad when I saw other people post shitty quality images and get way more likes than a post I put time and effort into. Now, it doesn’t even matter because I can’t see if your post is performing well or not. From an influencer standpoint, I think this is pushing influencers to step up their game and is forcing brands to work with people who can contribute to actual metrics that matter and are attributable to success. Brands will now have to look at things like direct conversions, reach and click-through rates. If you work in marketing, you know that this is wayyyyy more substantial to businesses than vanity metrics.

If this slight change will help with mental health too, then of course I am all about it. In fact, I’m kind of more inspired than ever. I know people don’t want to see my face every single day, so I’m all for bringing back the creative flat lays, beautiful landscapes and food pics. Heck, maybe I’ll even pick up my camera again and just start snapping away. As new platforms start to gain popularity, like TikTok, Instagram needed to always evolve to remain relevant in the ever-changing world we live in. Evolution is key, not our enemy.

 The cons of the update you may ask next? I hate that not everybody has the new update yet. I’m constantly asking people “do you still have likes” “can you see likes on Instagram?” I swear it’s my new form of an icebreaker. I wish they would just roll it out to everyone already so we can all adapt together. It’s coming though, no worries. Some of the influencers I follow are complaining that removing likes will only shift users into playing the comparison game in terms of comments on posts or follower counts. I don’t agree with this at all.

I think if you have a verified, real following (not bots or fake accounts) and if you’ve built a solid following of engaged users (not people who are commenting “love this” or “you go girl”) but rather asking thoughtful questions and conversing in an organic way, then you girl should have nothing to worry about. I absolutely HATE when people say that Instagram is just a highlight reel, like yeah duh!! Bad things happen enough in my life as it is, I don’t want to navigate to my escape space and read about your awful day too. If people are truly making you feel that terrible about yourself, then newsflash you need to start unfollowing and find people who inspire and encourage you to be a better person. Besides that, I really don’t have any other things tearing at my heart. I think I’m pretty good with it.

All in all, there’s truly nothing that any of us can do about this change. If a slight update to an app is making you that pissed off, then in the words of Taylor Swift “you need to calm down.” If you’re worried about the comparison game continuing with other Instagram metrics, well that sounds more like a you problem than an Instagram problem. It’s Mark Zuckerberg’s world and frankly we’re all just living in it. As previously mentioned, the Earth is still spinning, I am still breathing air, my cat still needs to eat food, nothing that earth-shattering is actually happening in our lives. I promise you it will be okay. In fact, I think this a great step in our relationship. Embrace it. Love it. Revel in it and push yourself to create bomb content people want to like because well, you don’t really have a choice either way.

Sincerely,

Favorite Starbucks Holiday Drinks

Happy Sunday Loves,

People often become attached to certain brands. If you’re going to buy paper towels and dish soap, you may choose Target over Walmart because you have had a better experience and find the brand more attractive (that’s a real life example for me). When it comes to coffee, I am a loyal Starbucks consumer. I will always choose them over Starbucks’ competitors because I think their products just taste better and I love the crafty variations.

As the seasons change, so do my drink orders. This past Summer, I was an Iced Caramel Macchiato and Very Berry Hibiscus kind of girl. Fall, I’m married to Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Starbuck’s new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Winter has hit hard and fast in Chicago this year, or at least it feels like it has. While I am on my commute to work every morning, I find it a necessity to have a piping hot Starbucks cup in my hand to keep me warm. If you’re the same way, or if you’re looking for a new drink to try as we transition into the holiday season, here are some of my favorite Winter Starbucks drinks!

Caramel Brulee Latte – Starbucks has this holiday drink every season. It is the perfect mix of espresso, steamed milk, caramel Brulee sauce and caramel pieces. It’s sweet while still having that quintessential coffee taste. Basic but delicious!

Blonde Eggnog Latte – This is a classic holiday favorite made with steamed eggnog and the Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast topped with nutmeg. It feels like Christmas Eve night in a cup.

Vanilla Latte – If you’re not one for fancy concoctions, the Starbucks Vanilla Latte is a staple drink. This is the perfect drink for the coffee lover who prefers a subtle sweet treat.

Hot Caramel Macchiato – In the Summer I drink this cold, in the Winter I get it HOT. I love how frothy this Starbucks year-round favorite is. Steamed milk, vanilla-flavored syrup matched with all of the important espresso notes finished with caramel drizzle. Hands down, probably my favorite overall Starbucks drink!

Cold Chai Tea Latte with Soy Milk and Three Pumps of Cinnamon Dolce – So that was a mouth full…BUT my friend introduced this drink to me a few years back and I always have to get it around this time. It tastes like Christmas in a cup. This is the only drink I’d get cold during the Winter months. It is so good, trust me!

Please leave any of your favorite Winter Starbucks drinks below! I am always looking to mix it up, so all suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. I hope you try at least one from my list and love it as much as I do!

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/15

Happy Friday Friends!

I hope you all had the best week! From dinners to meetings and events, mine was quite the whirlwind. One of the highlights…getting to meet Clay from Bachelor in Paradise last night at the Hubbard Inn grand re-opening party. He was so nice and I even got to snag a picture with him!

This is the time of year that’s the busiest, so it’s hard to make certain things a priority even if it’s something we love. In the midst of all the holiday celebrations ahead, it is still my mission to really get back into posting articles here more often and making them as relevant as possible. I value you so much and value your opinion. Please always stay in touch with me and let me know what you’d like to see more of. For the time being, I have compiled some of the cutest, tear-jerking articles that were on the internet this week. I guess I was just feeling a little more sentimental than usual. If you find yourself looking for entertainment this weekend, start with this list!

This week’s Wish List is also holiday party themed as I know so many people are shopping for the perfect outfits right now. I hope you enjoy and have a great weekend!

Alex Trebek gets emotional when contestant answers with “What is we love you Alex”

John Legend named People’s Sexiest Man Alive

Kelly Clarkson’s kids adorably interview their hero Jason Momoa about Aquaman

How Success Can Come From Learning What You’re Terrible At

Apply to earn $1,000 from watching Christmas Hallmark movies

Wish List

Holiday outfit edition

Michael Kors sequin one shoulder jumpsuit

Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific tulle layered skirt

Kohls Vera Wang sequin top

Macy’s faux-wrap midi dress

Spanx faux leather leggings

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

How Conspicuous Consumption Helps The Economy

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/8

Fashionable Matching Sets

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/8

Happy Friday!

I am so happy we are at the weekend! This week, I’ve been inundated with annual planning work and 2020 preparation for my clients. It’s just that time of the year. Thinking about planning for 2020 kind of gives me chills. Where has the time gone?

It is also officially Winter here in Chicago. What was once an enjoyable commute to my office in the Summer has now become my worst nightmare during these cooler, more harsh months. I anticipate a lot fo Lyft receipts coming my way soon. And more Winter coats. Basically, just goodbye to all my money.

Monday night I attended the launch event of the Chicago Blogger Union chapter! I’m sort of a nerd in that I absolutely LOVE going to networking events and meeting new people. I always make the rule for myself to talk to at least three new people each time I attend an event. It sets a realistic objective and gives the event more purpose. My enneagram Type 3 really came out in that sentence lol.

The rest of the week was pretty chill and I even got a night to catch up on my Bravo shows while hanging at home. That never happens. Any RHOC watchers out there, gooooooodbye Tamara!!! This weekend will probably be spent getting my life together and organized because next week we’re back to crazy! What are you up to this weekend? If you find yourself lurking the web, here are some great videos and articles you HAVE to check out!

This adorable Beluga plays catch with a couple of guys cruising by in a boat!

Met Gala theme and costume exhibition announced and I am LIVING for it

Ellen and Nature Valley give thanks to California first responders by surprising them with $250K

New Starbucks holidays cups were released this week, I like the one with the big block letters

If you’re looking for a great and easy Fall recipe, Half Baked Harvest shows off her Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs with butter mashed potatoes YUM

John Legend gets wine tipsy and performs on stage at Universal Studios

Forbes Women article on What Successful Women Learned About Creating A Career You Love

Wish List

Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific Velvet PaperBag Waist Pants

Polka Dot Tights

H&M Halterneck Bodysuit

Colorful Faux Fur Coat

Topshop Tie Neck Dobby Blouse

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 11/1

RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream Review

24-Hour Seattle Travel Guide

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 11/1

Happy November!

I cannot believe we only have two months of this year left…Where did 2019 go?!

This weekend, I am staying in the city watching a co-workers house and kitty while she’s out of town. I barely ever get to stay downtown, so I plan on fully taking advantage of this situation. I have dinner plans tonight with a couple friends at a place I’ve never been to before and then tomorrow I am participating in the Cliquish Faces of Content Tour and may stop by the new Uncommon James location in the West Loop. Who knows where else the weekend might take me, but if you follow me on Instagram, you can follow along on my adventures.

If you’re not up to speed on your current events this week, here are some great articles to read this weekend. My Wish List this week is entirely made up of new jeans because I am in serious need of a Fall jean haul. Hope you have a great weekend!

Chance the Rapper – a fellow Chicagoan – shows support for the Chicago Teachers Union while hosting and performing on SNL

LeBron James sent food trucks to the first responders fighting the fires in LA

Kanye West and James Corden do Carpool Karaoke on a plane

Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren organizes a campaign and contest that is giving someone a chance to have a drink with her after so many people said this is something they’d love to be able to do

Wit and Delight blog post on How To Compliment Someone Without Mentioning Their Looks

Caulipower Founder Gail Becker Shares Advice For Aspiring Food Entrepreneurs

Wish List

Jeans, jeans, jeans – I need some new ones ASAP

Good American Good Legs Blue265 Jeans

DL1961 Farrow Ankle High Rise Skinny Jeans

Frame Le High Skinny Jeans

Express High Waisted Denim Perfect Wide Waistband

Abercrombie Ultra High Rise Ankle Jeans With Raw Hem

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Happy Birthday, Mom

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 10/25

The Only Company I Buy Earrings From

Sincerely,

Happy Birthday, Mom

Dear Mom,

“I carry your heart, I carry it in my heart.” No truer words could be said to describe the bond we’ve spent the last 23 years building. Well, maybe “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, but I can’t even hear the tune without shedding a tear. To say that our family was cursed with tumultuous mother-daughter relationships would sort of be an understatement, but as that psychic told you all those years ago, you managed to break through. I could never imagine my life any other way.

Times were rough and the odds were stacked against us. But with hard work, dedication, compassion, lots of love and a hint of sass, as we handle majority of the situations in our life, we persevered. I can now proudly call you my best friend. There’s no one in this world who understands me better than you do. For supporting me and sticking by my side through all my crazy ventures and emotional episodes, I owe you umpteen amounts of thanks.

We are two peas in a pod. Our similarities in interests are uncanny. You are my fellow wine connoisseur, travel enthusiast, city slicking, fancy dinner loving, photography hobbyist. There’s no better feeling than coming back to a home of opulence (lol) after a tough day of work, opening a bottle of red, watch an episode of Supernatural and finding things to make fun of. It’s the best of times.

I will always need you. No matter what stage of my life I journey to next, you are the one person that will remain constant. No amount of time spent together will ever be enough.

The greatest lessons I’ve learned from you are to be strong, to be confident, to be kind, to be the hardest working person in the room, to figure it out when you don’t know the answer and to be unapologetically yourself. I get the honor of learning from you each and every day. Thank you for teaching me to be independent and to fight for the things that I want. It’s the greatest gift you’ve ever given me.

And now we celebrate! You deserve all of the celebrations in the world. I will never be able to truly repay you for the life I’ve been given. I cannot wait for our delicious dinner and drinks tonight. I hope you have the best birthday ever! I love you!

Sincerely,

Friday Favorites 10/25

Happy Friday Friends,

For the past week, I’ve been pretty out of commission. With the season change, came the inevitable sickness. It’s out there and it’s sinister this year, so beware! But just as I posted in my Instagram caption on Monday’s post, “almost everything will work again if you just unplug it for a few minutes. Even you.” No statement resonated with me more than this. As a woman always on the go, it was a hard pill to swallow, but I learned the importance to taking a step back and taking a breather, otherwise your body will take it for you and it’ll usually come at a very inconvenient time.

Although being sick wasn’t ideal, it allowed me to rest and heal for a second, something I hadn’t taken time for in a while. Now, I am feeling refreshed, renewed and inspired to create new content for you. Creative juices are flowing and next week we are back to regularly scheduled programming. I have some exciting ideas that I’m looking forward to executing. For now though, please enjoy this weekend reading roundup of the best articles I found on the internet this week. I hope you enjoy and come back next week to see what I have in store for you!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this week, I’m sure you heard Selena Gomez released new music. Her new music video for Look At Her Now was shot completely on the new iPhone

10 Steps You Can Take To Define and Achieve Your Goals

McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A and Popeyes – The Chicken Sandwich War is Far From Over

My fashion icon and blogger OG Blair Eadie releases her NYC collection with the Nordstrom team in celebration of the new Nordstrom flagship in Manhattan

Jennifer Lopez and A-Rod donate a year’s worth of food to Tennessee school

Wish List

The cooler temps have been sweeping through the windy city this past week, and as a result, I’ve been living in my gray teddy-like, sweater coat. This week’s Wish List is a roundup of some others I’ve been eyeing online lately!

SHEIN Longline Teddy Coat

Kohl’s Nine West Black Teddy Coat

ASOS Longline Teddy Coat with Oversized Pockets in Beige

ASOS Light Gray Tall Textured Slim Sweater Coat

Revolve Red Longline Caron Coat – omg this is a dream!!!

On Sincerely-Sydney ICYMI

Last Week’s Friday Favorites 10/18

One of the Best Dress Silhouettes

Boycott Boring Work Clothes

Sincerely,