How social media platforms are working to protect user well-being

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Date: 20 June 2022

A group of teenagers using social media apps on their smart devices

Social media is a massive part of our daily lives - especially for the likes of Gen Z and anyone working at a digital marketing agency. Whether for personal use or for business, we can't deny how much time we spend on these platforms; Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and so forth. As we absorb wealth of information each day, some of this can be inspiring or motivating. On the other hand, some information can be harmful and can have a negative impact on your mental state. So, how are these social media platforms working to protect their user's well-being?

Instagram

Studies have shown that Instagram is the most 'depressing' social media platform. Its constant newsfeed of images and videos makes Instagram quickly addictive. It has also been shown to trigger things such as; negative body image and eating disorders. To help with this, Instagram has launched a set of expert resources targeted at those who may be searching for these specific problems and sharing posts related to friends.

Bullying is, unfortunately, still a massive problem across all social media platforms and in real life. Instagram has always dealt with this issue head-on and continues to create systems to protect its users from this. They have recently enforced stricter penalties for those involved in bullying. Outside of this, Instagram has given you more control over your privacy and user interactions by allowing you to filter things such as comments and messages and also allowing you to switch off DM's from people who you don't follow.

TikTok

Tiktok has taken off rapidly in the last two years and has become a popular app amongst the community of social media platforms. With its endless scrolling feed, it can be easy to lose track of time and spend way more time on the platform than intended. Besides funny cameos, challenges and all that's fun with TikTok, it can be super addictive.

Tiktok has introduced some new tools that help users manage and track their time on the app. They have implemented break reminders that can limit the endless scrolling and a new dashboard that monitors screen time.

To prompt users between the ages of 13-17 on how much screen time they are using, Tiktok has said they will send reminders once 100 minutes have been used on the application. This slight nudge will hopefully influence the youngsters to take note of their activity and help them reduce the time they spend on the application and their phones.

Facebook

Facebook has consistently been researching how it can better its user's experience and improve mental health issues caused by the platform. In doing this, they have launched their emotional health resource centre working with mental health experts to provide comprehensive global mental health guides, actionable tips and resources developed by the World Health Organisation. To top it off, they also have region-specific resources addressing stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss.

Snapchat

Snapchat was named the second most harmful platform after Instagram. To resolve this, Snapchat has worked to create a range of partnerships to address the mental health and well-being issues influenced by the platform.

They introduced 'Here for you', a tool that provides in-app support to Snapchatters who may experience health issues such as depression, anxiety, bullying, stress, and grief. This feature shows resources from the user's local experts who may be searching for a specific topic within the app.

They have also teamed up with the popular well-being and meditation app, Headspace. Offering Snapchat users resources and content in the style of a 'Headspace Mini', which is essentially an in-app player. The Headspace-mini feature supports users with their mental health by exercising mindfulness and practising meditation.

Conclusion

The issue of mental health and well-being amongst people, particularly younger people, is growing and is being taken more seriously than it has in the past. Those social media applications and agencies that take this issue seriously and make the improvements will not only make a positive impact but will hopefully make a fundamental change in how social media is perceived.

Copyright 2022. Featured post made possible by Tom Welbourne of The Good Marketer, a marketing agency in London which drives more traffic, generates conversions and increases sales for small- to medium-sized businesses

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