YouTube Launches 3 New Features to Enhance Mental Health in Teens

YouTube Launches 3 New Features to Enhance Mental Health in Teens


James Beser, the director and product manager signifies the individual interests that teenagers in adolescence manifest. Through partnership and product updates, YouTube is ready to launch its three new features for their mental well-being.

The first feature is limiting recommendations for negative videos. An Advisory Committee is established to categorize videos. Most of these are based on their harm when repeated, which are separated from the videos that are healthy to have a one-time watch. This negativity is quantified based on social compression and aggression levels. With comparing physical features and idealization of certain fitness levels and body weights. For the spectrum of social aggression, intimidation and non-contact flights are aimed to be prohibited.

Influence: Teenagers are the most vulnerable age segment that can get manipulated or influenced quite rapidly. It comes up as a social responsibility to provide apt content that contributes positively to the cognitive-developmental process of adolescence.

Is regulating the new limiting? What needs to be regulated can come up as a bit controversial since different caregivers have different opinions. So far, only the most essential aspects like body shaming are labelled as an element of negativity that is acceptable by almost everyone.

Take break reminders, though already available since 2018 as default for teenagers will now be much more visually available every hour. This will contribute to setting healthy boundaries of screen time for adolescents. These reminders will now be available for both long videos as well as YouTube Shorts to ensure their efficiency with consistent reminders.

Read More: Psychologists tell Why we are getting Addicted to Social Media

Crisis Resource Panel is the third feature which provides a new full-page experience! When a teen searches for sensitive topics like suicide, YouTube takes a moment and diverts it to more similar healthy topics that are often associated with helpline numbers and the applicable help guide to deal with what he or she is going through.

In times of crisis, any individual, be it a teenager or not, is not in an adequate state of mind to come up with a healthy decision. When teens resort to a platform like YouTube, the top recommended videos can directly affect their mindset at that particular time. Providing an effective solution to calm down in crisis thus becomes a need, so that any further intervention can be taken up after immediate crisis care is possible.

How is this helpful? YouTube, owned by Google is one of the leading social media channels that is prominent worldwide. Adolescents spend a tremendous amount of screen time on YouTube, even to the extent of affecting their health and daily functioning. Watching tech devices for a prolonged period affects eyes and body posture. But this is not just limited to physical health, the cognitive development that is essential at this age, is often described in developmental theories like that of Piaget and Vygotsky. Physical quality time like for sports is often neglected with the addiction to social media. Tremendously hampering physical growth.

Role of parents and educators: Parents as primary caregivers and educators directly influence the upbringing of an adolescent. Adequate guidance and mentorship for what kind of content should be preferred on the internet is a right of any teen. Keeping stigmas aside, topics like sex education must be sought out as well to prevent the teen from going in the path of adult videos or any acceptance of substance abuse.

References +
  • Desk, T. T. (2024, June 19). YouTube is rolling out these three features to support mental health, wellbeing of teens. The Times of India.
  • Hutchinson, A. (2023, December 12). New research shows YouTube remains the top social app for teens. Social Media Today.
  • Jiménez, A. G., García, B., & De Ayala López, M. C. L. (2016). Adolescents and Youtube: Creation, participation and consumption. ResearchGate.
  • Balleys, C., Millerand, F., Thoër, C., & Duque, N. (2020). Searching For Oneself on YouTube: Teenage peer socialization and social recognition processes. Social Media + Society, 6(2), 205630512090947.

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