To help combat social media addiction, two major platforms, Instagram and Facebook have recently announced the release of social media timers. The timers are said to be released soon and will be located on the virtual dashboard.
The virtual dashboard will be a section of a user’s profile that will display time spent on social media each day and week. It will also include the ability to set timers to limit time online, and mute push notifications for short periods of time.
“It’s our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people— and we take that responsibility seriously. These new tools are an important first step, and we are committed to continuing our work to foster safe, kind and supportive communities for everyone,” said Ameet Ranadive, Instagram’s product management Director, in collaboration with Facebook’s Director of research, David Ginsburg, on Facebook’s newsroom blog.
Teens spend on average of nine hours per day consuming some form of digital media, according to a study by Common Sense Media. The release of social media timers has the ability to either change the way young people look at social networking, or have no impact at all.
“If they do release social media timers I would compare the tool to a new year’s eve resolution to eat healthy. You think you’ll use it because it will let you take a break from social media, but eventually people will stop using it because we are so used to having apps like Facebook and Instagram in our lives that we would rather not live without it. Kind of like eating junk food,” said Hannah Freeman, senior. “You know it’s bad for you, but you like it.”
A common response from many other students is that overall, social media does more good than harm.
“Academically, it’s great for finding deadlines with classes that use it. Remind has been a real life-saver. I’ve appreciated being able to stay in-the-know about school events through different social media sites. It can be difficult to get information out during class time when there are other things happening,” said Cecilia Despres, senior.
Moving forward, only time will tell how successful the implementation of social media timers will be on websites like Instagram and Facebook. Students, teachers, and people of all occupations are affected by technology, and it’s up to everyone to define the power it has.