From distasteful remarks in the comments section to downright nasty DMs designed to be a destructive force, trolling on social media is nothing new but it can have a lasting effect on a person’s self-esteem, especially in the formative teen years.
And while many people might be of the opinion that the only way to rid your feed of bullies is to remove yourself from social media entirely, it’s not the most realistic approach.
So Instagram has devised a new way to tackle online bullying, and is fighting back on your behalf with its new Restrict feature.
As the name suggests, Restrict allows you to restrict certain users so that their comments can only be seen by them, not you or your followers, unless you approve it first, so what makes it different from Instagram’s Block feature is that your followers won’t be subjected to the bullying either.
Restricted users also won’t know they’ve been restricted and won’t be able to see when you’re online.
Additionally, any DMs will be sent as Message Requests instead of going straight into the recipients’ mail box.
Speaking about its decision to implement this kind of feature and ultimately allow users to take back control from online bullies, Instagram stated: “Bullying is a complex issue, and we know that young people face a disproportionate amount of online bullying but are reluctant to report or block peers who bully them.
"Restrict is designed to empower you to quietly protect your account while still keeping an eye on a bully.”
To activate the Restrict setting, users can simply swipe left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you want to restrict.
While the feature can safeguard users against bullies, it can't physically restrict you from compulsively checking your phone up to (gulp) 150 times per day.
So maybe it's high time we all started physically restricting ourselves for the sake of our digital - and mental - wellness.