Will Instagrams New Feature Help Save Lives?
We use Instagram to share photos of the beauty around us, the delicious meals we've eaten or created, and our personal highs. But it is a social network, and we also use it to share our feelings when we're sad, upset, or when we need some moral support. Today, Instagram made some subtle but important changes to its app. Now, if you see a friend post something that feels like a cry for help, you can do something about it — without being confrontational.
If a friend posts about self-harm, you can anonymously report it. They'll then get a message that says, "Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we'd like to help." The app then offers suggestions (that you can access through the app) — that you talk to a friend, contact a local helpline, or receive some mental health advice and support. If you search for a hashtag associated with self-harm (many are now already banned), you'll be shown this page, as well.
"These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder," Instagram COO Marne Levine told Seventeen. Instagram worked with organizations such as the National Eating Disorders Association and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to ensure that the wording in its help prompts was appropriate.
The new tools are launching today, which is being dubbed National Body Confidence Day. You can share posts celebrating your strength, individuality, and body positivity with the hashtag #PerfectlyMe.