Snapchat has announced that it's launching a social media tool to help fight bullying and other mental health stressors: Here For You.
Here For You works in conjunction with its search tool, and essentially intervenes when users search for "sensitive content." For example, if someone searches for the key term "thinspo" (which would provide images and other content that may provoke a distorted body image), the user would be provided with resources created by mental health experts that could curve those negative effects.
Here For You was designed with its users in mind. In fact, according to The Verge (opens in new tab), 90% of its users are between the ages of 13 and 24. This young audience is particularly vulnerable to sensitive content that can alter their self-perception and negatively impact their mental health. Topics like anxiety, depression, suicide, and bullying will be addressed.
Snapchat is not the first social media platform working to combat mental health issues in its users. Both Instagram and Pinterest, which also have many young users, have implemented measures that are meant to reduce negative content on their platforms or provide similar mental health resources.
Although the Here For You tool is not available right now, Snapchat says it will roll it out to users in the coming weeks.
If you're a parent concerned about your child's online activity or what they're seeing on social media, consider one of the best cell phone parental control software (opens in new tab), one of the best parental software (opens in new tab), or one of the best internet filter software (opens in new tab). A new report (opens in new tab) recently highlighted the detrimental effects of social media use on teens' mental health, claiming that spending more than two hours a day on these platforms is linked to mental distress, depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm. Many experts recommend that parents talk to their children about social media and potential harmful effects as well as limiting their screen time and setting a good example of online behavior. When possible, parents should encourage kids and teens to interact and socialize in person rather than online, which can reduce their risk of developing mental health issues that stem from social media use.