How Instagram is looking after users in mind, body and spirit

To be sung to the tune of Diddy’s anthem: The B. The U. The S. The Y, I’m busy.

Work is all too easy to blame, but it’s not the only reason I’m feeling a little ‘arghhh’. Even planning shopping trips and holidays has become stressful thanks to the list of jobs they create.

Working through such tasks takes time (more than I’ve got) which is why I occasionally remind myself via the medium of yellow post-it notes that productivity is key.

After casually writing a memo to my future self (Back to the Future‘s Marty McFly stylee), to sustain momentum and not drop the ball, (unless it’s to make a sweet cup of tea to keep energy levels up) I returned to work to find that the rest of the digital marketing team had led an intervention using post-it notes (obvs) to instruct me to eat, take regular breaks and generally not feel solely responsible for the entire organisation’s business objectives, least of all on a Friday. When did they get so smart?

Touched by their thoughtfulness I did what any savvy social media manager would do – posted the evidence on Instagram.

Can Instagram's mental health feature help change young lives?
Liked over 20 times (hey, I didn’t say I was a successful social media manager), it provoked comments from caring friends also reminding me to look after myself.

So, it was interesting to read in the same week that Instagram has launched a feature giving users the opportunity to report worrying posts, which prompts the recipient to read a supportive message signposting them to useful organisations.

With recent research from the Young Women’s Trust revealing that over half of people aged 18-30 are worried about their future; four in 10 feel worn down; and a further one in three are worried about their mental health, it’s no surprise Instagram has (finally) recognised the role it plays in protecting and empowering young people.

I ‘grammed’ my PC picture for fun but, on reflection, I wonder if there was more to it? I certainly try not to wear my busyness as a badge of honour (because these days who doesn’t have one?) but it’s always comforting to know you’re not the only one paddling like a duck underwater.

If a friend, or indeed stranger, were to have anonymously sent me a message I probably would’ve worried more about the state of my personal branding. But, one thing’s for sure. I definitely would’ve taken notice and, at the very least, have been assured that the feature works.

Although only currently available in the US, this move – which is part of the brand’s new #PerfectlyMe initiative which champions the development of a positive online culture – is set to roll out globally soon.

Looking between the frames, filters and hashtags, as Generation Z continues to live out its life online, all social media channels should unite with charities to look after their target demographics.

It’s not a tick-boxing CSR exercise, it’s a potential lifeline.

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