Instagram is used to share updates on our lives, stunning photography, meals we’ve cooked, and moments we’ve shared. We share images of colourful birthday parties where an unlucky friend passes out too early on, and we share intimate moments of quiet magenta-tinted lakes at a Muskoka cottage. We share images of old friends when we’re feeling nostalgic, or new friends when we’re making history.
We also share images when we’re sad, or down. For some people, social media is one of the only channels that feels comfortable to interact with other people when we need moral support.
Instagram is rolling out a new feature that can assist you in helping a friend who may be struggling. If you notice someone posting an image that seems distraught or self-harming, you can now flag that photo. Instagram will then message that person with the following:
“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.”
They have a handful of options to choose from, including talking to a friend, phoning in a local helpline, or receive tips and support. It’s an anonymous and non-intrusive way to reach out to someone you may not know very well, while not alarming them. Instagram’s chief operating officer, Marne Levine, told Seventeen. “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.”
While #bodypositivity and self confidence issues still run rampant on social media, Instagram is making decisions that will make it easier to identify those who need help. Social media gets a little more real today.
Share this with a friend, or tell us what you think of the new feature in the comments.