Mental Health, Tech

Instagram’s new feature will prompt you to “Take a Break”

But is it really going to work?

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Nov 11, 2021

Instagram is adding a new “take a break” feature in an attempt to make an effort to persuade teens to avoid hazardous content. The social media app will introduce this new feature that encourages users to “take a break” from the platform particularly to protect minors.


Last month, Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, told CNN that the new “take a break” function will be added to the network to help kids avoid harmful information. He shared: “We will be urging kids to just take a break from using Instagram,” adding that the business will create a new feature dubbed “taking a break.”


According to CNN, Clegg shared this news in order to spare itself from allegations pertaining to the effects of the platform on teenager’s mental health: “We’re going to introduce something which I think will make a considerable difference, which is where our systems see that a teenagers is looking at the same content over and over again, and it’s content which may not be conducive to their well-being, we will nudge them to look at other content,” said Clegg.


In a blog post, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stated that the firm was looking into a “take a break” function. Internal Facebook and Instagram researchers were aware that Instagram may be a hazardous app for underage girls, and whether that is just a snowball effect from the use of the app or a calculated effort from the platform remains up for debate.


According to a report in the Wall Street Journal: “Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse […] Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”


In a way, this new feature can actually be tremendously beneficial to most teenagers, who spend a lot of their time on the social platform. This is surely not healthy for anyone, especially not teenagers. Details on how this feature will function are not revealed yet, but it does beg the question of the efficacy of it. After all, do teens really listen and abide by what they are told to do? Probably not. The platform will have to take that into consideration and take stricter measures to apply this new feature.


In other news, Instagram now lets you control how “provocative” your feed is, as well as add pronouns to your instagram profile. Also, everyone can now share links in their Stories.
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