Article Written by iClimber.com
Facebook has recently announced plans to release a series of features that will help both Facebook and Instagram users keep better track of how long they actually use these apps for. These announcements are likely in response to the backlash Facebook and other social media companies have gotten over past few years for negatively affecting their users’ mental health.
While the apps were originally designed to connect people with each other, they also have the potential to distract people and take up large portions of one’s free time. Plans to check your phone for a few minutes could easily turn into several minutes or even hours of usage, if not closely monitored.
Balancing corporate interest with addressing feedback
Facebook and Instagram will soon have dashboards users can reference to get a better understanding of how many minutes they have spent using said apps for, on a day-by-day basis. If you want to, you can also temporarily mute app notifications for a number of hours. These features will not radically change the nature of the social media apps but they are a solid way of balancing Facebook’s growth goals with responding to skeptics who question how healthy the apps are for users.
Whose responsibility is it?
The sentiment that social media can have negative effects on one’s mental state is not new. Studies have shown that some people feel worse after simply scrolling on social media apps than those who use them to catch up with friends and family. Social media can lead you to compare yourself to your peers, which can be damaging to your mood.
Some rely on social media for their jobs but unproductive activity on Facebook or Instagram is something some need to address. Is it up to the companies who develop the apps or is it up to the users to limit how long they spend scrolling on a regular basis? The upcoming Facebook and Instagram features are great tools to increase awareness, but it is ultimately up to the users to decrease usage. Hopefully, by at least being more aware of how long you spend on an app you can reflect on if you should take action to change your browsing habits.