Instagram rated worst social media platform for mental health
Do your kids spend too long on social media? A new study has shown there is a tangible link between heavy social media users and poor mental health.
The Royal Society for Public Health asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 about five of the biggest social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube. They were asked to score each platform on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image.
The #StatusofMind survey ranked Instagram as the social media platform most likely to have a negative effect on young people's health and wellbeing. The survey found the photo-sharing app negatively impacted on people's body image, sleep and fear of missing out, but scored positively on self-expression and self-identity. Whereas, Youtube topped the charts and scored positively on influencing awareness, emotional support and community building.
About 91% of young people use social media which is more than any other age group so they are particularly vulnerable to its effects. With the rates of anxiety and depression increasing by 70% in the past 25 years, mental health charities are urging companies to act to increase users' safety.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) report said: "The platforms that are supposed to help young people connect with each other may actually be fuelling a mental health crisis."
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