Transcript for Instagram makes big change to your feed
We're back now with a big change for Instagram. Have you noticed anything different in your feed? The social media giant is piloting a new program that hides likes for some users with 75% of American teenagers on Instagram. That's a huge number. With that number of American kids on this platform, this new move may elicit a few sad faced emojis so joined now by parenting expert, Ericka souter, editor of mom.com. Ericka, good morning. How does it work? Okay, so right now Instagram is expanding the test they've rolled out in certain parts of the world and what will happen, when it go to your friend's Instagram account you'll see their picture. You can even like their picture but you will not be able to see how many other people have liked the picture. But I can see how many likes I got. Yes. So if you go into your account, you can click and see how many people have liked or interacted with your picture. So I imagine the motivation here is there have been some studies showing a correlation as I understand it between depression and anxiety and use of social media and so are people just trying to reduce -- is the company trying to reduce the aspect of competition? Instagram is really concerned with -- they have a social responsibility. They feel the social responsibility to work with the mental well-being of their users and research studies out of Penn state, Harvard, university of Maryland have shown there is a link between anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and social media use so on a lot of parents in the real world are dealing with it every day. So it's very much appreciated that they care. Ericka, you're a parent and you have two kids. I have two daughters and social media is such a big part of especially what the preteens and teenagers are doing. As a parent, how do you feel about this change? I actually really appreciate it because there is an issue with kids, their self-esteem being linked to how many people like their photo or what kind of reaction they're getting so I'm apt to let my child when he starts using social media to use a platform like Instagram that cares about what's going on with them. Dan talked about the competition for likes. How do you think it will help reduce that pressure on kids as they use social media? Well, it will immediately reduce that immediate sense of competition so you can't go and see what -- how many likes your friend's photo got and they can't compare their photo to yours but kids are still going to crave those likes because they can see who likes their what people have to say about their photo so it helps the sense of competition but it's not going to totally get rid of the problem which is kids craving those likes in order to build up their self-esteem or feel worthy. 46 And so how do you explain this to kids, why it's happening, especially for those who may be struggling figuring -- trying to figure out why can't I see the likes? Our job as parents to put it in perspective and let them know it is a snapshot of this person's day or moment and it's highly filtered and highly edited. It's not exactly real life. But we also need to encourage them to build self-esteem in the real world. My son, my oldest likes acting. He likes sports so I encourage him to take acting classes, play all the sports he wants and that way he builds a sense of self and he's seen in the real world and other ways than just social media. That doesn't apply just to kids. It applies to adults as well.
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