Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma: Does Instagram want you to stay longer and compromise your mental health?

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Did we not learn anything from ‘The Social Dilemma’?

Tired of mindless scrolling on Instagram? Do not worry as Instagram’s Take a break feature will update you to take a break from reckless scrolling. While users had just begun to appreciate this take on deducing social anxiety, Instagram silently turned the tables and decided to address the elephant in the room by compromising its users’ wellbeing. 

The Reason

Meta is unwilling to lose users and compromise with its business.’

The internet is flooded with news of Meta’s dropping share values. It is no surprise that Meta has been instituting various strategies and initiatives to retain its users. After a billion users plunged from Facebook, Meta decided to not risk the user engagement on its ‘photo-sharing’ platform—Instagram!

With its recent time increments, Meta has certainly mocked its own policy of user wellbeing.

The Result

It will be difficult for users who are trying to limit their social time on the app.

Initially, Instagram allowed its users to take a break of as few as 10 minutes during sessions of mindless scrolling. Users could opt for this feature, choose their daily time limit and sit back while IG popped up a break notification according to the designated time.

Recently, Instagram increased the ‘daily time limit’ where users don’t have the option to choose time increments lower than 30 mins.

The Impact

Increased user retainment but compromised mental wellbeing of users.’

Giant social media platforms brag about catering to users’ mental and emotional wellbeing with their user policy. With Instagram’s time increments, it will be difficult for users to curtail their social anxiety. The ‘Take a break’ feature was an important mental-health-supporting feature for Instagram, lest it was actually focused on users’ wellbeing. However, the recent updates make it contradictory. This will surely affect users who are generously trying to get rid of their scrolling addiction and opting for social media detox.

The Social Dilemma

In 2020, Netflix’s ‘The Social Media’ revealed the brutal side of social media, more than what we had bargained for. It showed how social media feeds off human psychology and how it drives us for business-oriented benefits. The verdict was encouraging more screen-off times and limiting spending time on social media platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram. It seems as if we did not learn a thing from the brutally honest documentary.

Also Read: Is ‘Metamates’ Another Attempt at Rebranding Meta’s Waning Image?



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