According to a new report conducted by the RSPH, Instagram is the worst social media platform for a young person’s mental health. It is closely followed by Snapchat, while YouTube was determined to be at the opposite end of the spectrum.
This new status was named the “Status of Mind” and examined the positive and negative effects of spending time on social media on the health of youngsters. The study was conducted by the RSPH or the United Kingdom Royal Society for Public Health and YHM or the Young Health Movement.
For their research, its team split the social media platforms and ranked them according to their effects. While YouTube was lauded for its positive features, Instagram and Snapchat, on the other hand, were notes as being quite detrimental and the worst platforms for a young mind.
Instagram is a wildly popular platform whose user number continued growing ever since its release. Over the recent years, it’s become even more popular, and its upwards trend is likely to continue and increase faster than before.
“Through our Young Health Movement, young people have told us that social media has had both a positive and negative impact on their mental health,” said Shirley Cramer, the RSPH chief executive.
Worst Platforms, But Also Some Positive Effects
She pointed out the fact that both these platforms are “very image-focused”, which seems to be the driving force behind both their positive and negative consequences. These latter appear to be at the root of some young people’s anxiety and also behind their feelings of inadequacy.
As the team pointed out, its results are based on the public’s input itself. Instagram received the worst marks regarding its effects on body image. It did not help that it also seems to have an impact on sleep and appears to increase the fear of missing out or FOMO.
Snapchat had slightly worse results in terms of sleep and FOMO but was somewhat better placed on the loneliness scale.
Still, it wasn’t all about the negative as all social media platforms received positive marks as well. They all scored very well on the self-identity and self-expression scales. Some users also reported their connecting in online communities and finding support networks.
The #StatusofMind survey included the participation of almost 1,500 people aged 14 to 24 from the United Kingdom.
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