Instagram has responded to claims that the social media platform is bad for mental health by setting up their own “Wellbeing Team”. Recently a highly publicized survey revealed that Instagram ranked number one as the worst social media network for user’s mental health and wellbeing. Instagram is hoping to combat the negative impact that it has on user’s health by coming up with ways to make it a more positive community.
The health survey showed that although Instagram can be good for self-expression and self-identity, these positive aspects were overwhelmingly outweighed by its association with anxiety, depression and negative body image. The negative elements of Instagram made it rank well below competitors in terms of mental health such as Facebook and YouTube which was actually reported to have a positive effect on wellbeing. Instagram decided to confront the problem by creating an entire team that is dedicated to improving people’s mood and wellbeing through Instagram.
The Wellbeing Team is making an effort to transform Instagram into a place where people feel good and don’t experience feelings of anxiety and depression while using it. It may be a difficult task since many users especially young women experience a lot of negative feelings on Instagram. Women in their late teens and early 20s using Instagram reported that it had a negative impact on their body image and made them feel inadequate about their work and lifestyle.
Instagram is currently changing their priorities and making positive mental health their number one goal for the platform. They have created comment filters that automatically filter out inappropriate comments to prevent bullying and set up teams to review posts by individuals who may need mental health support. If Instagram continues to take measures to improve the community it may be able to minimize the negative impact it has on user’s mental wellbeing.