2020 has been a rough year for a lot of Malaysians. Due to Covid-19, people are finding themselves stuck at home instead of going out for work or play like they used to and this has drastically affected their state of mind. According to a recent survey by Ipsos, 44% of Malaysians said that their mental wellness has been affected since the pandemic began. It was also reported that over 750,000 people in Malaysia are members of 20,000 active Facebook groups dedicated for people to seek support in maintaining mental wellness.
In response to these reports and numbers, Instagram has announced the launch of #RealTalk – a campaign to support the work of mental health organizations and communities in Malaysia. Discussion of mental wellness has been treated as taboo in the past, but Instagram hopes to destigmatize and normalize it.
Throughout the #RealTalk campaign, a handful of influencers (including fellow Facebook Gamers – Soloz and Yana Samsudin) will be sharing messages about the topic at hand, as well as guides for recognizing and handling mental health issues. These guides were created by MIASA Malaysia, a mental illness awareness and support association; and Naluri, a digital health coaching platform.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world and during this lockdown where more people are constantly on the app (because it functions as a window to the rest of the world) – it is in a commanding position to raise awareness about mental health issues.
They have also introduced some new tools to give people more control of their Instagram experience:
- Messaging Controls: Control who can message you directly and who can’t message you at all.
- Tag and Mention Controls: A setting that allows people to choose if everyone, no one or only people they follow can tag or mention them in a comment, caption or Story.
- Hidden Comments: Instagram has started testing a new feature that automatically hides comments similar to others that have been reported.
- Expanded Comment Warnings: Instagram is also expanding comment warning to include an additional warning when people repeatedly attempt to post potentially offensive comments.
- Bulk Comment Management: People can select up to 25 comments at one time and bulk delete them.
- Pin Your Favorite Comments: People can pin three comments to the top of their comments on a feed post.
Kudos to Instagram for this initiative, and we hope for nothing but success with the #RealTalk campaign. Follow Soloz, Yana Samsudin, Tengku Puteri Iman Afzan, Iman Alyssa Sahabudin, and Slurpee Crank to see their posts.