Simile, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is
a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.
As such it should be a way to conserve words by creating an image with one sentence. Yet it seems in much literary writing these days similes amount to extra words tacked onto a description for effect with no added value.
In the paragraph I mentioned above, I felt so bombarded with "likes" that I decided to go back and analyze each one. Of the five similes, I'd say one somewhat enhanced the image already created by the author in the lines preceding it. Three didn't detract but didn't add anything either, and one, on close examination, wasn't really accurate. The simile compared the movement of a piece of clothing to the wings of a certain insect, and, when I thought about it, the image was kind of upside-down and backwards.
Obviously I'm being purposefully vague about the story. In all other respects it was great, and I don't want to pan this particular writer for doing something that is––going by what I read in the most selective journals––strongly encouraged. In fact it often seems that a generous peppering with similes is a basic requirement for acceptance at many literary journals, yet at the same time, the effect has been so watered down by overuse that I suspect even the editors skim them like readers skim dialogue tags. (Hey, there's one.) How else would these ineffectual additional words slip through?
Maybe it's just me, but I'd rather see writers go back to using similes sparingly and to greater effect. When it's not part of their natural style, I'd rather writers skip the simile all together rather than come up with something that sounds strained at best.