The latest tips, insights and thought leadership from the brilliant minds that brought you Ouma.

Time to take a break? Instagram's latest feature

Here at Ouma, we are making strides to become champions of wellness and mental health in the workplace. We know all too well that having a break nowadays means more than just having a KitKat.

We're developing a Mental Health & Wellbeing benefits package to ensure that our wonderful team are nurturing healthy and fulfilling lives. The Ouma culture is one that balances online and real-world practices and promotes digital wellness, allowing us to thrive and be happy in the modern world. We can have our cake and eat it!

Our workdays can take many forms, whether we are congregating on the beanbags amongst the hustle and bustle of our city centre offices, working flexibly from our favourite coffee shop, or typing away from the comfort of our sofas at home (PJs optional).

One thing that never changes; our days are spent living and breathing all things social media.

We are avid social listeners, and through our work we research, write, and consume a wide range of social media content, from fun and creative marketing campaigns to serious, hard-hitting news. We love nothing more than listening to a podcast whilst thumbing the hell out of our phones on Pinterest and simultaneously reading the latest blog from TikTok HQ!

We know that social media can provide a supportive safe-haven and community, but it can also contribute to social divides and deteriorating mental health.

Sometimes, it can be a lot to take in. We know that being absorbed in the digital world for hours at a time can contribute to overwhelm and impact your productivity, and it can also cause physical discomfort like headaches and eyestrain. Both at work and in our personal lives, regular screen breaks have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, boost your energy levels and fuel your creativity!

This is why taking time out from the screen has always been an essential part of our daily routine at Ouma. For us, being social media-savvy also means knowing when to take a break, and Instagram’s bold new feature will allow us to do exactly that.

This month, Instagram began testing a new feature called "Take a Break", an opt-in control which enables you to receive break reminders in-app after a duration of your choosing. When you receive a break reminder, Instagram will prompt you to close the app and suggest expert-backed tips on what you can do during your Insta-break, like listening to your favourite song or ticking something off your to-do list.

In a recent video, head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri says the move will "give people ways to manage their time in a way that's intentional and meaningful". He also suggested that we can look forward to seeing more of this kind of feature in the near future.

This vital and long-awaited move from Meta has come at a time of incredible significance in the social media world. The update follows the release of the Facebook Files, a report of Meta's own research which has revealed that their apps can be harmful and addictive to users.

Knowing this, regulating our time spent on Instagram can only be a positive thing, and we hope that it will pave the way to normalising and sustaining much healthier social media habits. If you would like to read about more ways to build healthy habits into your daily social media activities, click here.

When the Take a Break feature rolls out to the world, the Ouma team will certainly be incorporating it into our daily practices to continue nurturing the balance between our digital and real-world lives.

We would absolutely love to see social media mindfulness become an integrated aspect across every platform in the future. Could it become a trend for 2022 and beyond? We hope so!