Social media platforms are often viewed as a stage to connect with friends and acquaintances, and also to help ease depression, improve self-esteem, as well as keep loneliness at bay.
However, it can also pose serious risk to one’s mental and physical health, including teenagers.
Taking a note of this, Facebook is now planning to introduce a new feature that will help improve the mental health of young people, specifically teenagers.
Called as “Take a Break”, this new feature to be introduced on Instagram will encourage teenagers to just simply take a break from its photo sharing app, and keep them away from watching harmful content over and over in a particular time period that may not be conducive to their wellbeing.
“We’re going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that a teenagers is looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well being, we will nudge them to look at other content,” Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs said in an interview on NBC’s State of the Union on Sunday.
This move to introduce the “Take a Break” feature on Instagram follows after Frances Haugen, a former Facebook Product Manager and a whistleblower, testified before the Senate Commerce Committee about company’s internal research into teen’s experiences on Instagram and its negative mental health effect on young people, especially young girls. She also accused Facebook for repeatedly prioritising profits over the safety of its users.
Recently, Instagram had decided to pause the development of the “Instagram Kids” app, a version of the app for those under 13, and work on giving parents optional controls to supervise their child’s use of the photo-sharing app.
“We are constantly iterating in order to improve our products. We cannot, with a wave of the wand, make everyone’s life perfect. What we can do is improve our products, so that our products are as safe and as enjoyable to use,” Clegg added.
Clegg did not provide information as to when the new feature will be released on Instagram. Keep watching this space for more updates, as this is a developing story!