One Social Network Ranks the Worst for Mental Health and Well-Being

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According to a recent study, Instagram is the most damaging social network to the mental health and well-being of young people.

The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement published a report titled, #StatusOfMind, which featured more than 1,500 individuals between the ages from 14 to 24.

When deciphering the impact of well-being in a technologically saturated social culture, the survey asked individuals to rank the five most popular social networks — Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube — based on 14 mental health issues, like, bullying and body anxiety.

While it was discovered YouTube had a positive impact, Snapchat was ranked the second most harmful, followed by Facebook.

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The report goes on to state that young people say four of the most-used platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, actually make their feelings of anxiety worse. Additionally, the RSPH outlines with rates of anxiety and depression increasing by 70 percent over the past 25 years, one in six young people will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life.

The chief executive of RSPH, Shirley Cramer, said that the visual nature of Instagram and Snapchat is the reason behind the ranking.

“It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing — both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people,” she said.

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The organization is calling on social media platforms to point out when photos have been digitally altered, and asking for the integration of a pop-up heavy usage warnings on social media.

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