Instagram 'ranked worst for young people's mental health'

Instagram 'ranked worst for young people's mental health'

Instagram 'ranked worst for young people's mental health'

The photo-sharing app also scored very low on effects on sleep quality and FoMO, which is "Fear of Missing Out", the feeling someone gets when they're anxious things are happening without them present.

The report found that Instagram was by far and away the most detrimental social platform, according to CNN, and most notably hurt the mental health of young women. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube rounded out the top five.

The survey found that platforms that are supposed to assist young people in connecting with each other may actually be fueling a mental health crisis.

It's another Facebook-Google war, by proxy: photo-sharing platform Instagram is far and away the most popular marketing channel for social media influencers, but YouTube is growing fast.

The survey asked young people how different social media sites impacted on 14 significant health and well-being issues.

By 2019, the sponsorship money influencers receive on Instagram alone is set to more than double from about $1 billion this year to almost $2.4 billion, according to a recent estimate by Mediakix.

To tackle the problem, the RSPH has called for social media platforms to take action in order to help combat young users' feelings of inadequacy and anxiety by placing a warning on images that have been digitally manipulated.

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"For young people, using social media and digital technologies as a tool to help with mental health make sense for many reasons", said Becky Inkster, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

Instagram rated the worst, having the poorest impact on sleep, body image, fear of missing out, bullying and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness.

"Social media and the online environment can act as an important source of support and information for young people". Both Facebook and Twitter scored well on self-expression and community building, but they were found to lead to bullying and depression. Such tools include education on how to report content, how to directly contact an expert for advice on an issue, how to get support for a friend, etc.

She added: "As adults we need to portray and model better uses of social media and that sometimes means putting up photos where we don't look our best and being honest about our lives".

About 90% of young people - the largest percentage of any other age group - are social media users.

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

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