Facebook Is Trying to Make Itself Better for Your Mental Health With New 'Snooze' Feature


Facebook is well aware of the studies showing it can have a negative effect on well-being and has been taking steps to make itself better for the mental health of its users. In addition to upgrading its AI technology to detect suicidal ideation last month, Facebook announced on Friday it was introducing a “snooze” feature it hopes will help with overall user well-being.

Researchers at Facebook David Ginsberg and Moira Burke cited the new “snooze” feature as a way they planned to address previous criticism.

People often tell us they want more say over what they see in News Feed. Today, we launched Snooze, which gives people the option to hide a person, Page or group for 30 days, without having to permanently unfollow or unfriend them. This will give people more control over their feed and hopefully make their experience more positive.

When you “snooze” a person, page or group, the person or page being snoozed will not be notified. “Snoozing” can be reversed at any time, as well as restarted. Before the 30-day snooze period is up, you will receive a notification that the snooze is about to expire.

The benefit of this new feature rests primarily on its temporary nature. Instead of permanently unfollowing a page or person, it allows you to have control over what you see for a short period of time. For example, a person in eating disorder recovery could benefit from snoozing in the month of January as New Year’s resolution dieting posts begin to flood in. A sexual assault survivor may benefit from temporarily snoozing posts from news organizations they follow as potentially triggering sexual assault coverage continues to dominate the news cycle.

Giving Facebook users more control over what they see in their news feeds may allow members of the mental health community to protect themselves from content they might find triggering without the permanence of unfollowing a person or page. In addition, the prompting notification of the snooze ending may provide someone with the opportunity to do a “self-check in,” and actively decide for themselves if they are ready to see content like that again in their newsfeed.

What do you think of this feature? Tell us in the comment section.

Screenshot via Facebook Snooze video


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