Instagram 'worst for young mental health'

Amos Gonzales
May 20, 2017

A new report from Britain's Royal Society for Public Health said many popular social media sites can be detrimental to young people's mental health. On the other hand, the #StatusofMind survey found that the photo-sharing platform was positive in terms of self-identity and self-expression, notes the Telegraph.

The report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) titled #StatusofMind, surveyed almost 1500 people between the ages of 14 to 24 regarding how different social platforms affect their well-being, including how it affects their anxiety, self-identity and body image.

After Instagram, the young people said Snapchat, Facebook then Twitter most negativey impacted them.

The online survey asked participants a series of questions about whether YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter had an impact on their health and well-being.

"We really want to equip young people with the tools and the knowledge to be able to navigate social media platforms not only in a positive way but in a way that promotes good mental health", he added.

Furthermore, 68 per cent of respondents said they would like social media platforms to highlight when photos have been digitally manipulated.

Professional YouTuber Laci Green, a health vlogger with 1.5 million subscribers said that education surrounding mental health issues in a digital age is an educational imperative for young people.

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They also suggested for social media platforms to identify users who could be suffering from mental health problems by their posts, and discretely signpost to support.

"A study by researchers from the University of Houston in Texas has shown that social media is contributing to depression due to users comparing themselves to others".

No surprise, social media influencers spend a lot of time in their native milieu, with 33.1% spending two to four hours per day on social media, 32.1% spending four to seven hours per day, and 23.6% spending more than seven hours per day.

YouTube scored very badly for its impact on sleep but positively in nine of the 14 categories, notably awareness and understanding of other people's health experience, self-expression, loneliness, depression and emotional support.

The new study is calling for pop-up heavy usage warnings which would alert users when they've reached a risky level of time on an app. Researchers found about 70 percent of young people support the idea of pop-up warnings.

People surveyed were asked to what extent each of the social media platforms they use made certain health-related factors better or worse such as anxiety, bullying and real world relationships.

Other reports by BadHub

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