Instagram Will Soon Let You Know How Much Time You're Wasting on Instagram

In a move aimed at improving mental health that might be more depressing than just scrolling through your feed.

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Aug 1 2018, 2:42pm

Photo via Hero Images / Getty

Scrolling through Instagram can often feel like an endless, self-loathing journey that heightens any tiny feeling of inadequacy. Sure, the photos are pretty and the filters are fun, but you're also bombarded with select, edited scenes from what other users want you to see. It's almost impossible not to compare yourself to how friends, your ex, people you haven't spoken to since college, and complete strangers are supposedly living their lives—something that's helped make the app the worst social media platform for users' mental health.

Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has already rolled out a "muting" function to hide posts from certain users without unfollowing them entirely, but now the app's well-being team is rolling out a new function for both Instagram and Facebook that will help users manage how much time they're spending on each platform.

In a move that, for some, might actually be more depressing than just scrolling through your feed, Facebook and Instagram will soon feature dashboards that can show you a breakdown of your daily activity on the apps, and how long, on average, you've spent on each that week on your phone, BuzzFeed News reports. You can also make time limits for how long you want to spend on each app, prompting a "daily reminder" to alert you when you're time is up, as well as mute push notifications for up to eight hours.

"The goal of these features is to help people be more mindful and intentional about how much time they’re spending on Facebook and Instagram, and really give them that power and control over how and when they want to engage," Ameet Ranadive, head of Instagram's well-being team, said during a press conference.

The new features, which will rollout on each app over the next few weeks, are at the very least Facebook's attempt to address the documented negative body image, loneliness, anxiety, and general depression users have reported feeling after spending a lot of time on both apps. But it'll be interesting to see if anyone actually heeds the alarms and reminders they set for themselves, or if seeing how much time they waste on each app is just more reason to ignore the new dashboards altogether. Ultimately, if scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed makes you feel bad, you could always just delete the app and take some time away.

Follow Lauren Messman on Twitter.

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