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Scrolling into the future of social media care culture

Scrolling through Instagram
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May 02, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

Jorge Alvarez explores how platforms such as TikTok and Instagram are engineering care into their ecosystems amid a global spike in anxiety and depression.

Social media users are switching off due to screen time and information overload, choosing to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing. So what can brands do to cater to the rise of the care economy while continuing to drive traffic to their platforms?

WGSN’s CEO Carla Buzasi explores with Jorge Alvarez, a mental health advocate who is working to make social media more safe, inclusive and intentional. Jorge says platforms are now promoting a care culture that facilitates community engagement, which in turn enables the sharing of mental health resources. From providing digital rest stops to building community, discover how brands are stepping up to make care compatible with social media.

Portrait photo of Jorge Alvarez
Jorge Alvarez

Identifying signs of mental health conditions

“I have anxiety and depression. I only ever explained what I had as stress. “Oh, I’m overwhelmed. Oh, I just have a lot to do.” But I never had that language because it wasn’t discussed in my household growing up and wasn’t discussed in my community, really. And so despite having support – and I think that’s super important – that was a major barrier.”

Person having consultation with psychologist
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Addressing mental illness

“My opinion – and I think this is pretty factual – is that public health and mental health have been separated from one another. Mental health has been isolated and approached from an individualistic point of view, and not just by advocates, creators, individuals who are sharing tips, but also by agencies, nonprofits, etc. Rather than approaching and discussing the root causes of mental illness – poverty, lack of affordable housing, education, diet, environment – we’re so focused on band-aid solutions.”

Person comforting someone else
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Revisiting resources and support

“A lot of times, folks tend to perpetuate an individualistic approach to things or perpetuate solutions that worked for them and frame it in a way that it’s something that’s going to work for everyone. I think there’s going to be more accountability and more care around the way people navigate those conversations.”
– Jorge Alvarez, mental health advocate, social impact strategist and creator

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, Scrolling Into the Future with Care.

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