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Kids' Phone Safety Blog

Instagram’s New Feature Is Here To Save Lives

December 14, 2016
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If you think that Instagram is all about fancy pictures, you get it wrong. Just take a closer look at the content being published online. You will see some posts that have nothing to do with glamorous selfies or eye-catching food photos. A lot of teenagers post their cries for help on Instagram. These can be pictures of self-harm, bullying, violence, etc. Having no courage to discuss an issue with parents or friends, they share their bitter experience online.

Let’s imagine the following. When scrolling through your Instagram feed, you saw a heartbreaking post of your good friend. We should admit that posting such kind of pictures is not a rare thing for all social media. So, how should you act in this case?

Probably, your first impulse would be to call your friend or drop him/her a line to relieve the pain. But should you really do so? This may look as if you are intruding into other person’s private life, which is definitely not the best thing to do. Should you inform their family? Well, this can only make things worse.

perfectly me


Eventually, you feel terrible about the whole situation and have no idea what to do. Keep calm. The good news is that Instagram might offer a good solution. Now it is able not only to identify worrisome posts and depressing pictures but also take clear actions about them. Is it actually possible? The answer is a yes!

These days, Instagram new features are widely discussed – and for a good reason. Let’s pay attention to its latest update. Without exaggeration, its importance is hard to overestimate. Believe it or not but the recently launched feature would help prevent bullying and even save lives. How does it work?

If you go on Instagram and stumble upon someone’s depressing post about self-harm, you shouldn’t stay indifferent anymore. From now on, you can report such post anonymously. This would be your first small act of providing self-harm help. What will happen next? The user will receive the following message: “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.” These are quite supportive words to get, right?

Social platform also offers the receiver a set of helpful options like talking to a friend, some mental health tips, and the phone list of local help services. The user can pick the one they like most. The respective help page will be available for all those who enter #selfharm in a search bar on Instagram.

It is impossible to imagine Instagram without hashtags. Using these metadata tags can say a lot about app users. Sometimes, there are tragic stories hidden behind them. For instance, the post tagged #ImNotOK means that the author is surely not doing fine. Their feelings must be deeply hurt.

self harm help


As they say, it’s okay not to feel okay. However, it’s not all that simple. If you notice a tragic post accompanied by such hashtag, it’s not a common thing. It is a plea for help. Wasting no time, report the post so that the user will receive the encouraging message to uplift their spirit. It is a practical way to combat depression and allay anxiety.

There is some more good news we have saved for the last. In partnership with Seventeen, Instagram has launched a new online campaign called #PerfectlyMe. It is also known as National Body Confidence Day. This initiative is here to help people embrace their uniqueness and realize their perfection.

It could be a truly transforming experience for those willing to pass through it. The users suffering from mental diseases, eating disorder or bullying get a chance to grow confidence, find support and overcome their demons. Everyone can join the ‘Perfectly me’ movement by posting a photo of themselves tagged #PerfectlyMe. This is a significant positive change in social media interaction.

We should remember that each person can have a complicated time and feel extremely lonely every now and then. In desperation, many people seek help on the Web. Sure, social media is not the safest place to spend time. But what is left to do for those who have no other options? Instagram new features are aimed to make the online world a more secure spot. The photograph app encourages its users to show empathy and be kind to each other. So why not do this? Time to help is now.

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