It sadly comes as no surprise that social media has had a detrimental impact on users’ mental health. From harsh comparisons, to unrealistic expectations, and abusive interactions, the world of social media is a dangerous place to be.
It’s for this reason that TikTok has begun rolling out a range of new features designed specifically to aid mental health. Appealing to a young demographic, the app’s features have been targeted more specifically towards teens. Users will be able to access a guide on wellbeing, and support for those experiencing eating disorders. An intervention feature for those searching “suicide”, and related terms, will guide users towards a Crisis Text Line.
These new TikTok features come as a result of negative findings by a Wall Street Journal Report on Instagram. The report found that the Facebook-run platform is “toxic” for teen girls, and that the company has been very much aware of the fact.
When announcing the new features, TikTok stated, “We care deeply about our community, and we always look for new ways in which we can nurture their well-being”.
Most social media platforms have been in a game of cat and mouse with TikTok, vying for popularity. Instagram has long been in stiff competition with the Chinese-owned company. Reels extended its video length shortly after TikTok did the very same. TikTok tends to lead the way with new features and updates, so it’s unsurprising to see it reacting quickly again here.
With National Suicide Prevention Week having taken place last week, these new TikTok features are timely. The company has said they will be available globally in the next couple of months.
Other Mental Health Resources
Naturally, the severity of mental health crises varies from person to person. It’s reassuring to see social media platforms acknowledging their responsibility for users’ mental health, and taking steps to keep them safe.
Some other online resources to aid those experiencing poor mental health, or know someone who is, are available.