Instagram usage continues to grow while other social media platforms, especially Facebook, have seen a drop in usage. With more tech companies becoming aware of an individual’s “digital health,” some are in the process of developing tools to limit users’ time on certain apps and Instagram is one of them.
TechCrunch reported on the new Instagram feature called Usage Insights, which would inform users of how much time they’ve spent on the app. Twitter user Jane Wong found more about the tool in the app’s code. Along with showing how long a person has been on Instagram, users can set a reminder to notify them when they’ve surpassed the time limit they set for themselves.
Smartphone addiction has become a concern in recent years. A study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America last November suggests addictions to phones and the internet are creating a brain chemistry imbalance in young people. The small study of 19 teens, with a mean age of 15.5, saw that those who showed signs of addiction to the internet or smartphones had higher gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. Having too much GABA could result in side effects such as drowsiness and anxiety.
In May, both Apple and Google mentioned digital health in their respective events and how they intend to deal with this new issue. Google called it Digital Wellbeing and will start adding reminders to apps when people use them for too long along with charts to show their usage. Apple announced at WWDC 2018 how it will tak similar actions regarding notifying users when they’ve been on their phone for too long and set a daily allowance of how long a person can use an app.
Instagram’s new Usage Insights is still in the works. There is no date for its release.
In order to fight smartphone addiction, there are some easy steps to kick the habit.