Instagram Addresses Users’ Mental Health By Forming A Wellbeing Team
The social media platform is responding to a study on its negative repercussions with an initiative to make the community safer
Although Instagram has proven to be an excellent visual medium to inspire creativity, it’s also had a damaging effect on mental health—a survey conducted by Britain’s Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) determined that the platform is the #1 worst social media network for mental health and wellbeing. But the social network is taking steps to disassociate itself from bullying, anxiety and depression with a new department known as the “Wellbeing Team.”
The team’s top priority will be making the Instagram community a safer place where people can feel good. A few tools aimed at improving the negative mental health repercussions have been popping up within the last year, including comment filters and reports for posts made by individuals who might need mental health support, who are then connected to relevant organizations. But RHSP recommends taking it a step further by marking photos that have been digitally manipulated (to prevent from young women from developing distorted body image ideals) and enabling a “pop-up warning” that appears when the user’s amount of social media usage is deemed harmful.
Instagram has not been outspoken regarding the Wellbeing Team and offered no commentary as to whether it plans on adhering to any of the recommendations from RHSP. The company is currently hiring for wellbeing positions, but has not revealed any details on what duties the team will perform.
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Halle Tecco is a founder and managing director of Rock Health, the first seed fund devoted exclusively to digital health companies. Prior to Rock Health, Halle worked as a business analyst at Intel before moving on to Apple where she worked in the health and medical vertical. Halle is also an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School.