While plenty of us make regular use of social media, there has been growing concern over just how healthily we are staying connected – growing concerns over how younger people and children are using services such as Facebook and Instagram have bubbled up to the surface in recent years, and with the former having faced growing concerns over a number of other policies this past few months, it seems that the brand has decided it’s high time to try and stop people getting so addicted to their apps and services. Facebook – in ownership of Instagram – is reportedly developing ways for their users to refrain from using them so much. It sounds bizarre – but it is the latest in a number of attempts made by Mark Zuckerberg’s firm to try and take ownership of some of the brand’s more controversial aspects.
Major changes being launched will allow users to view directly how long they have been online for, and will allow people to launch and mute notifications which will help you to manage your browsing and posting habits. This means that we will be able to set alarms to effectively curb our own online behavior – arriving at a time where concern continues to build over just how healthy social media use – and dependency – is becoming.
Users will now be able to access these time-management features by heading to the ‘Your Activity’ section of their Instagram dashboard as well as through the ‘Your Time on Facebook’ option on the parent platform – both of which can be accessed via ‘Settings’ – and you will be able to set yourself a variety of notifications and reminders in order to better manage your ongoing access through the apps or platforms.
Ed Morrow, speaking on behalf of the Royal Society for Public Health, welcomed the moves by Facebook – which will allow you to customise your own time settings. “It is very encouraging to see Facebook and Instagram taking steps in the right direction by implementing these measures.”
It’s a move which has been welcomed, but it is one which only goes some way to help to strengthen Facebook’s public image in the wake of controversy over data-sharing and a social-media-wide crisis over online bullying. With more and more platforms taking responsibility for their services, it’s high time we saw more responsible changes emerging on the horizon.