Instagram has introduced the ability for users to add their pronouns to their bios. Currently available a select few countries including the UK, Instagram has plans to expand to more regions.
The section’s preset pronoun options don’t allow users to enter anything they want, which is a wise decision to stop any gender-related “jokes” that delegitimise pronoun usage. The preset options cover most of the pronouns on this list.
Given that the usage of pronouns has become increasingly commonplace in recent years, Instagram’s addition seems behind schedule. It’s still a positive sign of progress, but it’s shocking that they are the first social media platform to officially implement this. Hopefully this move will encourage other major social media sites such as Twitter and TikTok to follow suit, as currently users have to manually enter their pronouns into their bios or alongside their usernames, which uses up limited character space.
The usage of pronouns isn’t just limited to transgender people, and this article explains why it is beneficial for cisgender people to state their pronouns as well, in an effort to normalise the practice and create safer spaces for transgender people.
The discussion around pronouns and gender neutral pronouns such as ‘they’ in particular are often cited by critics as modern “wokeism” gone mad. However, as the BBC explains, the usage of gender neutral pronouns can be traced back as early as 1386 in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales and also in other famous literary works like Shakespeare's Hamlet in 1599. Despite its cutting-edge technology, social media is generally behind the times when it comes to pronouns.
If you would like to learn more about how to use pronouns and what they mean you can find more information here.