` Every young person is looking for units of recognition, every young person is trying to figure out who they are and get positive attention, and clearly social media isn’t ideal...
“I do think they need to do more, but this is a start, which is good because when it comes to social media, you expect companies to be interested in the profits of their shareholders, not the health and wellbeing of young people, so any move in that direction is to be welcomed.”
Psychologist and director of Macquarie Health Collective in Dubbo, Tanya Forster, echoed Mr Carr-gregg’s sentiment, but said the problem lies much deeper than simply likes.
“We have to remember that people can still view how many likes they receive on images through their own profiles, so irrespective of whether they can see how many likes other people receive, there is still a good chance they will derive some of their own sense of self-worth from the likes they receive individually,” she said.
“In addition to this, the social media world continues to allow people to create a false sense of their picture perfect lives, and for as long as that is the world our youth are comparing themselves to, it is difficult to teach them body love, acceptance, or to love themselves just the way they are.”
Meanwhile, others are calling Instagram’s bluff on their mental health reasoning, instead believing it’s a ploy for financial gain by pressuring users to pay for their content to be seen.
Local digital marketing consultant, Kim V. Goldsmith, who runs multiple Instagram business accounts for clients, thinks the mental health angle is a phony and that Facebook and Instagram are simply “scaling up their payment model”.
“I actually think the move is quite superficial because as soon as you click on ‘others’ you can see how many have liked it anyway,” Ms Goldsmith said.
“Certainly, Facebook has been under a lot of pressure in terms of mental health and the role of social media in the sense of well-being, and I guess they’re tackling it on a number of fronts, but I don’t see anything substantial in it at this point in time.
“You have to be fairly cynical when it comes to social media and forcing a spend now because they are all pretty much doing that... Twitter is probably the only platform that I’m using on a regular
Psychologist Michael Carrgregg is one of Australia’s leading experts on the mental wellbeing of children and adolescents. PHOTO: SUPPLIED