Logging into a social network can be qualified as risky behaviour, in the same vein as drinking, gambling or unsafe sex. We know enough about it now to understand that it does things to our brain, and now it seems even the tech giants are acknowledging that some of their platforms’ key features are…bad for us.
This week, Instagram removed the ability to instantly see the number of likes a post has received. Minor? Sure. But those little hearts are a key social currency, says Bailey Parnell, a social media researcher who studies the link between these systems and our mental health. How can we practice “safe social”? What further changes could be coming from the teach giants? How bad does it have to get before we change our habits?