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Instagram's Powerful New Feature Can Literally Save Your Life

Instagram has added a new feature that allows users to anonymously reach out when they feel someone needs help, and the social media app deserves some serious props.

Connecting with old acquaintances, sharing picturesque photos of the meal you slaved over for hours, meeting new friends, and finding inspiration that you might not have been able to find elsewhere: All benefits of the social media world. However, constantly comparing oneself to the filtered, highlight reel of another's life can generate feelings of inadequacy and self-esteem issues, which can lead to some even more serious problems. Instagram's new feature is taking a huge step in preventing those feelings from being emotionally scarring and even potentially fatal for some users, and we are giving some serious props to the social media giant.

The new addition to the app will allow users to anonymously flag a photo when they think someone needs help. After being flagged, the person will receive a message that says, "Someone saw one of your posts and thinks you might be going through a difficult time. If you need support, we'd like to help," along with various options of available help in their area from which to choose.

Alongside flagging, someone can also be directed to this page if the user searches a hashtag associated with self-harm, such as #thinspo.

The app is working with the National Eating Disorders Association as well as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to ensure that the messages users receive are both helpful and appropriately worded. This new feature comes at a time when several celebrities are using their platforms to speak out against the stigma of mental health and to encourage and empower others to get the help they need.

 

I feel #PerfectlyMe when I am playing soccer, it makes me feel the most confident in my own skin. Every now and then a person on the other team will think I can't play or that I won't be good. I use that negativity and turn it into my own inspiration to try my best to be the best. I crave that type of competition. I love my body (my legs included) just the way It is. It is so important to tell yourself through out the day that you are the best you there is. Just know that there is no one else out there like you and you are beautiful just the way you are. :) Photographer: @blackprints Hair by: @paulmitchellus @hairbypaulahouston makeup by: @katienashbeauty @seventeen (be sure to check out this months issue!)

A photo posted by Pamela Ann Reynolds (@preynolds_) on

"We listen to mental health experts when they tell us that outreach from a loved one can make a real difference for those who may be in distress. At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don't know how to best reach out," Instagram's chief operating officer Marne Levine told Seventeen. "These tools are designed to let you know that you are surrounded by a community that cares about you, at a moment when you might most need that reminder."

In order to continue promoting a positive community, celebrate strengths, and the redefining of beauty standards, Insta users are posting encouraging images with the hashtag #PerfectlyMe.

 

Being strong is to love someone in silent, to radiate happiness when we are unhappy, to forgive someone who does not deserve forgiveness, to stay calm in moments of despair, to show joy when we don't feel it, to smile when you want to cry, to make someone happy when our own heart is broken, to be silent when we feel like screaming our anguish, to comfort when we need to be comforted, and to have faith when sometimes we no longer believe. 🍁🍂🌸 | 📷 by @robstamm14 | . . . #perfectlyme #backbend #fall #love #inspire #inspiration #dowhatyoulove #huffpostgram #YesHuffPost #idoportal #gratitude #bestrong #stretch #ballerina #instaballet #pointe #dance #ballet #dancer #balletdancer #worldwideballet #downwarddog #split #backbend

A photo posted by Rebekah Letch 🕊 (@rebekahletch) on

This move is a giant step for the entire social media world, and Instagram, you deserve a serious round of applause.

Hannah Marsh

Hannah is a Texas-born, Iowa-raised alumna of Iowa State University. When not writing trending content across several Meredith sites, she enjoys all things fitness-related, binge-watching "Whose Line is it Anyway" episodes and fully embracing her self-diagnosed peanut butter addiction.

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