+
upworthy
Family

A friend's cry for help is tough to see. Instagram's new feature is here to help.

It's a scary feeling to see a loved one's cry for help. Oftentimes, we're left feeling powerless and questioning if, or how, we should act.

Many of us, unfortunately, know what that gut-wrenching moment feels like. Especially in the age of social media. You're scrolling through your feed — past the baby pics and food photos — and you spot it: a post from a friend that doesn't feel ... right. Your stomach churns, your heart begins to beat faster, and you ask yourself: Is my friend about to hurt themselves?

Should I call him? No, I don't want to offend. Should I tell her mom about this? Probably not. It's none of my business anyway...


Photo via iStock.

We live in a world where posts from friends concerning self-harm, depression, and suicide aren't all that rare. The good news is that Instagram recognizes this, and it's doing something about it.

As part of its #PerfectlyMe initiative celebrating the strength of support networks, the photo-sharing app is rolling out new features to help users anonymously report a friend they're worried about if they see one of those scary posts or messages.

After the post is reported, that friend will get a message from Instagram that notes, "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."

The feature will then offer your friend a few options, like the ability to contact a help line directly or read tips on getting support and accessing help.

Photos via Instagram.

Instagram is also aware that what a person seeks out through its hashtag search — such as #ImNotOK — can say a lot about what's on their mind. To address this, the app has a new feature that will send a message to a user if they search for a hashtag that's associated with self-harm.

Photo via Instagram.

Instagram worked with experts from groups like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the National Eating Disorders Association to make sure the language being used in the feature was appropriate and helpful.

"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," Marne Levine, Instagram's chief operating officer, told Seventeen magazine. "At the same time, we understand friends and family often want to offer support but don't know how best to reach out."

Photo by Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images.

Instagram's new feature is social media at its finest: connecting people around the world and giving them tools to help one another.

Social apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can get a bad rap. Sometimes, they provide a platform for bullies. Other times, they're used to spread hate and bigotry by those with the wrong ideas.

But these same platforms also connect long-lost friends, unite marginalized groups in solidarity, and, yes, allow us to make sure we're looking out for our friends and family.

"These tools," Levine explained, "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."

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

Keep ReadingShow less
Courtesy of Woodell Productions

This speech had all the things, and the Maid of Honor wasn't even there

May we all have a best friend like Ally Lothman.

Lothman had just given birth to her first child (according to Today.com) and was unable to make it to the wedding of her lifelong best friend Michelle Levenson. But Lothman’s Maid of Honor duties were still gloriously fulfilled.

A now-viral video, posted to TikTok by wedding photography and videography company Woodell Productions, shows that even though Lothman couldn’t celebrate in person, her FaceTimed wedding toast managed to bring everyone at the reception—along with everyone who watched online—to tears.
Keep ReadingShow less

Kevin Bacon's farm songs have become a social media favorite.

When Beyoncé dropped two songs from her upcoming album of country tunes, Renaissance: Act II, she may not have expected to make history, but that's exactly what happened. Her first single from the album, "Texas Hold 'Em," shot to the No.1 spot on the Billboard country music charts, making her the first Black female artist to hit that top spot. The catchy tune also topped the Billboard Hot 100 the last week in February 2024, a week after it debuted at No. 2.

Presumbaly, Queen Bey didn't expect her song to become an Irish stepdance hit, though that's also exactly what happened. And surely she didn't expect it to be sung by Kevin Bacon to a bunch of farm animals, yet that also has happened.

Perhaps we should all have expected that, though. There's a precedent here, after all.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

People think everyone should experience these things 'at least once in their lifetime'

Things like seeing an eclipse and having a true best friend make life worth living.

Representative Images from Canva

Here are some things everyone should experience once in their lifetime

If there’s one thing human beings all have in common, it’s our shared impermanence. No matter our race, gender, social class, wealth status, health regimen, moral code, political leaning, or any other divisive element, we all get one life. One life to hopefully fill with as many memorable, soul nourishing, expansive experiences as possible.

But let’s face it, there are more experiences available that there are days and hours in which to do them. Therefore, we have to use discernment. So, which experiences are truly must-haves in our all-too-limited time on this planet?

The answers to this question are undoubtedly personal, but perhaps some things, just like the inevitable exit of mortal coil, are universal.

According to a recent discussion on Ask Reddit, here are things one must absolutely “experience at least once in their lifetime”:
Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Helicopter's thermal imaging helps save a young autistic girl lost in a Florida swamp

“I just love how the deputy greeted her. What a beautiful ending. You guys are the best!”

A deputy locates a missing girl in a Florida swamp.

A 5-year-old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) wandered off into a swamp near Tampa, Florida, around 5:00 pm on Monday, February 26. The good news is that the girl was saved in about an hour thanks to the work of some brave sheriff’s officers and their incredible thermal technology.

The girl wandered from her home and was quickly reported missing by her family to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff quickly dispatched its aviation unit that used thermal imaging technology to scan the nearby swamplands to try to find the young girl before nightfall.

Thermal imaging technology captures images based on the heat emitted by objects, allowing us to see temperature differences even in the dark, making it super handy for night vision and heat detection. The thermal technology helped the officers quickly identify the girl from high above the trees.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

10 things kids get in trouble for that adults get away with all the time

Why do we expect children to have more self-control than grown-ups?

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

Kids know when we're being hypocritical.

Raising kids is tough and no parent does it perfectly. Each child is different, each has their own personalities, strengths and challenges, and each of them requires something different from their parents in order to flourish.

But there's one thing that parents have long said, with their actions if not with their words, that justifiably drives kids bonkers: "Do as I say, not as I do."

To be fair, both moral and actual law dictate that there are things that adults can do that kids can't. Children can't drive or consume alcohol, for example, so it's not hypocritical for adults to do those things while telling kids they cannot. There are other things—movies, TV shows, books, etc.—that parents have to decide whether their kids are ready for or not based on their age and developmental stage, and that's also to be expected.

But there are some gaps between what adults do and what they expect kids to do that aren't so easy to reconcile.

Keep ReadingShow less