Pinterest signs pledge to make internet safe and healthy, especially for teens

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solo21 June 2023Last Update : 3 months ago
Pinterest signs pledge to make internet safe and healthy, especially for teens

Social media should have helped connect us and inspire us. But the internet is broken, says Pinterest, so “let’s fix it”.

Pinterest has announced that it will sign a call to action for technology companies to make the internet a safer and healthier place, especially for young people.

The Inspired Internet Pledge, created by the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, provides a framework for companies to take “meaningful, measurable action to support positive mental and emotional wellness outcomes.”

The pledge was conceived in collaboration with Pinterest, an image-sharing and social media app, and addresses the mental health crisis teenagers experience across borders.

According to The mental health of youth continues to deteriorate, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“As we saw in the 10 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, overall student mental health continues to deteriorate, with more than 40 percent of high school students feeling so sad or hopeless that they cannot engage in their regular activities. could not be At least two weeks during the past year—a possible indication of the experience of depressive symptoms,” reads the CDC’s 10-Year Trend Youth Risk Behavior Survey report.

The report also found that 16 percent of high school students in 2021 were electronically bullied through social media websites.

Indeed, studies show that excessive passive engagement in social media, such as mindlessly scrolling through posts, is associated with harmful consequences, including feelings of envy and decreased life satisfaction.

Research studies have also indicated a possible connection between social media use and the development of ADHD symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and lack of sleep.

“I can assure you that this mental health crisis is very real and it is a global phenomenon, there is a global need to address it,” said Dr. Michael Rich, founder and director of the Digital Wellness Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. adding “This is not a competition, this is a mandate.”

“People, especially teens, are really scrolling as far as they’re walking every day. That’s about a mile a day.” [1.6 km],” said Pinterest CEO Bill Ready, as the company announced the pledge at Cannes Lion, a global event for the creative communications and advertising industry.

“We chose this stage here to launch this pledge because only the people and companies who fund the internet can fundamentally change it,” he said.

Putting Emotional Wellbeing At The Forefront Of The Industry

“Intentionally keeping mental health and emotional well-being at the forefront of these efforts, the pledge guides participating companies to address the ongoing mental health crisis with accountability,” Pinterest said in a statement.

The tasks set in the pledge were designed by the Digital Wellness Lab, based on their rigorous research on the positive and negative effects of technology and interactive media on young people.

The signatories commit to three basic principles, which include tuning into the well-being, listening to users’ concerns, and committing to transparency.

Rich said they are challenging social media companies to “share information on both best practices, both helping children’s emotional well-being, but also worst practices where they feel they failed.” Are”.

Each signatory would then create its own supplementary addendum – an additional document or annex to the existing agreement – ​​that is relevant to the realities of their platform. The addendum will be managed by the Digital Wellness Lab and made public to hold signatories accountable for their commitments.

“I’m incredibly proud that Pinterest is the first signatory and partner on this pledge,” company CEO Ready said in a statement.

“We are inviting our peers and industry to join us in this pledge to create more positive wellbeing outcomes for young people. We need to do this together. A better internet for our better selves To make emotional well-being a real, measurable outcome and to become the standard for the entire industry”.

A source close to Instagram told EuronewsNext that several “major social media companies” including Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, are reportedly looking at the pledge.

“The relationship between technology use and mental health is complex and subtle,” Rich said.

This reality has created “a responsibility and an opportunity for tech companies to build a healthy Internet that will help young people build a positive sense of self and a productive relationship with technology”.

It is possible to have a safer internet for future generations “but it has to be designed by the tech industry, and educate and empower users to be healthy and smart and kind to each other.” Added.

“Vote with your dollars and your euros, and demand better welfare outcomes through social media. This industry needs accountability,” Ready added.

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