Instagram encourages friends to spend more time together, put down their smart phones

Instagram is officially embracing a year-old campaign by its parent company, Facebook, to encourage young people to put down their smart phones and connect face-to-face with friends, The Verge reported.

On Friday, Instagram rolled out a new feature that encourages users to “take breaks” from their accounts. The new feature, dubbed “Set a time,” comes on the heels of a year-long campaign called Facebook’s Common Ground, which encouraged young people to take time to sit down with friends and make new friends.

“Set a time, and we’ll help you find a good place to go,” the social media company said in a statement posted on Friday. “Or take advantage of the live camera, post about the experience, or follow along on someone else’s adventure.”

As of this writing, users can turn off the feature, which has been available in tests for several months. Users can turn on Set a time as easily as turning on a timer, tapping the “alt” button and turning off the feature, Instagram explained. Users can also turn the setting on and off from their smartphones’ settings.

“Studies show that the more disconnected you are from your community, the less likely you are to be able to relate to and connect with your friends,” a spokesperson for Instagram told The Verge. “Today, people are checking Instagram multiple times a day and spending more time in our app than ever before.”

Instagram users can turn Set a time off again by turning it back on and tapping on it.

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