A recent report regarded Instagram as the worst for the mental health of young people. The social media platform may affect the sleep patterns of people by promoting unrealistic body images and causing them anxiety. Also, it might instill a fear of missing out which is also harmful for their emotional well-being.
The report, called the Status of Mind survey, was developed by the Young Health Movement (YHM) and the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH). Almost 1,500 young people, aged between 14 and 24, participated in the survey. They had to answer questions related to their mental well-being and rate how depressed they felt, if they had any difficulties in building their self-confidence or relationships with others.
Instagram and Snapchat, the worst apps for mental health
The top app related to most problems was Instagram, followed closely by Snapchat. Shirley Cramer, CEO of RSPH, found the results interesting, as both social media platforms are very image-driven. It seems that they might be making users feel inadequate and out of place if they do not reach the standards promoted by these apps.
This should act as a warning not to let social media influence young people so much. These platforms play an important role in society nowadays, but people should make use of their benefits, and not let them become overwhelming. Therefore, researchers are asking for government help to make social media friendlier for children.
Using social media to build a better mental state
In fact, apps and social media platforms might work as a way to preserve one’s mental health. They could offer help under a familiar form, by using interesting activities and people’s own interests to keep them on track and preserve their well-being. Also, many young people might find it easier to talk about their problems in an online environment.
Instagram and Snapchat were ranked the worst for mental health, followed closely by Facebook. The fourth and the fifth places were occupied by Twitter and YouTube. As we can see, those platforms focused on sharing images are more harmful than others.
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