Instagram ranked worst social media site for young people's mental health

Instagram ranked worst social media site for young people's mental health

They say it's been rated the worst social media site for young people's mental health.

It found the photo-sharing app negatively affected people's body image, sleep and increased their "fear of missing out", though it was said to be positive for self-expression and self-identity.

Those surveyed were asked to rate five popular social platforms - YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram - by 14 points to determine their influence on young people's health and wellbeing.

"Social media may be fuelling the mental health crisis in young people", the RSPH report said, before highlighting about 90 percent of young people use social media platforms.

Facebook and Twitter both emerged divisive in their impact on young people's mental well-being.

The report by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said: "The platforms that are supposed to help young people connect may actually be..."

Describing social media as "more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol", the report says that seven out of 10 young people had experienced cyber-bullying through social media.

Social media channels like Instagram cause anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and bullying, according to the survey.

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

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Instagram has more than 600 million active monthly users.

RSPH and YHM are now calling on social media platforms to introduce a "heavy usage" pop up warning and to identify users who could be suffering mental health problems and "discretely signpost to support".

Instagram said keeping the platform a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority.

Instagram has the most negative impact on young people's mental wellbeing, a survey of nearly 1,500 14- to 24-year-olds found, and the health groups accused it of deepening young people's feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

Social media is also a way many young people express themselves.

The report also said social media can help young people feel emotional support and experience community building. Both platforms were considered positive for self-expression and community building, though they were both also seen to lead to bullying and depression.

The BBC notes that over 90% of young people use social media now, which is more than any other age group, so they are more vulnerable to its effects as well.

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.

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