Instagram’s New Anti-Bullying Features


Daryl F. '23

Photographed above are Instagram's Home and Explore page

Daryl F. '23, Reporter

Teenagers on social media are pressured into getting the most attention or most likes and comments on a post everyday. It’s increasingly affecting teenagers’ mental health. Instagram is notorious for cyber bullying, along with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Instagram is still beneficial to society today for reasons like helping spread disease awareness, fundraising, and generic pictures to share with your friends and family. Researchers say, “The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression in the last 12 months increased 52 percent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 and 63 percent in young adults age 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017.” This shows that social media can have an enormous impact on most people’s mental health.

Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, has taken initiative to make instagram a less pressurized place for all of its users. He has added a feature on commenting which allows you to report negative, or harassing comments. Users can either report the comment or restrict the user from commenting on your posts. Systrom is also trying to conceal the amount of likes on a post. This update would prevent everyone from seeing the number of likes on a post, except for the user that posted it themselves.

High school Counselor, Paige Dubrow says, “A platform like Instagram perpetuates issues of body image, and the difference between what is actually posted on Instagram versus reality. People are pressured to live up to these high expectations, but they don’t see how this perfect picture actually happened.”

The invisible like feature will eliminate this idea of a flawless posts, users will see less opinions, whether they are good or bad.

“Instagram may get kickback from this update. Users get hype over the amount of likes on their posts, it’s the point of their participation on the app. They expect others to see,” Dubrow said. Hope remains that the apps’ social dynamics will incline in being a more supportive environment for its users.