Instagram to ask teens to take a break and look away for their sanity and health

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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In an attempt to address concerns about teens on Instagram, the social media entity may introduce new measures. According to an Instagram blog post, some of these measures may include nudging teens away from some content.

The blog post by Instagram head Adam Mosseri stated: “We’re increasingly focused on addressing negative social comparison and negative body image. One idea we think has promise is finding opportunities to jump in if we see people dwelling on certain types of content.

“From our research, we’re starting to understand the types of content some people feel may contribute to negative social comparison, and we’re exploring ways to prompt them to look at different topics if they’re repeatedly looking at this type of content. We’re cautiously optimistic that these nudges will help point people towards content that inspires and uplifts them, and to a larger extent, will shift the part of Instagram’s culture that focuses on how people look.”

Another feature that may be introduced may include tentatively encouraging teens to “take a break,” where people could put their account on pause and take a moment to consider whether the time they’re spending is meaningful.

The interventions are considered partly due to reports that highlighted that the company’s researchers found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of young users, most notably teenage girls. “We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,’ said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues.”

The report also pointed out that “Teen boys aren’t immune. In the deep dive Facebook’s researchers conducted into mental health in 2019, they found that 14% of boys in the US said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves. In their report on body image in 2020, Facebook’s researchers found that 40% of teen boys experience negative social comparison.”

IOL Tech

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