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Instagram ‘Worst’ for Young Mental Health
Instagram ‘Worst’ for Young Mental Health

Instagram ‘Worst’ for Young Mental Health

Instagram ‘Worst’ for Young Mental Health

Instagram is rated as the worst social media platform when it comes to its impact on young people’s mental health, a UK snapshot survey suggests.
The poll asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 to score popular apps on issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image.
Instagram said keeping the platform in a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority. Mental health charities urged companies to act to increase users’ safety.
The Royal Society for Public Health study says social platforms should flag up heavy social media use and identify users with mental health issues, according to an article on Quartz.
However, it can also be used as a tool for good, the report said. Instagram, for example, was found to have a positive effect on self-expression and self-identity.
About 90% of young people use social media - more than any other age group - so they are particularly vulnerable to its effects, although it is not clear what these are on current evidence.
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.
Participants were asked to score each platform on 14 health and well-being issues.
Based on these ratings, YouTube was considered to have the most positive impact on mental health, followed by Twitter and then Facebook.
Snapchat and Instagram were given the lowest scores overall.
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH, said: “It is interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and well-being - both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”
In light of the findings, public health experts are calling for social media platforms to introduce a series of checks and measures to help tackle mental health.
The report also recommends that NHS England comes up with a vetting scheme for health and well-being information so young people are better able to judge whether information is trustworthy.
Cramer added: “As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, it is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media less of a ‘wild West’ when it comes to young people’s mental health and well-being.”
“That’s why we work in partnership with experts to give people the tools and information they need while using the app, including how to report content, get support for a friend they are worried about or directly contact an expert to ask for advice on an issue they may be struggling with.”

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