Instagram found to be the worst social media platform for mental health

Image vicky leta  mashable

Image vicky leta mashable

Young people experience increased rates of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and poor sleep because of popular social media platforms, according to a new United Kingdom study.

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.

A United Kingdom study of 1,479 people aged 14 to 24 found that the photo-sharing platform was damaging to young people's body image, "fear of missing out" and contributed to anxiety, depression and loneliness. Twitter came in second, followed by Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.

The '#StatusOfMind' report published by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) examined the negative effects of five social media platforms.

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.

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Young Minds, the charity which Theresa May visited last week on a campaign stop, backed the call for Instagram and other platforms to take further steps to protect young users.

The findings were based on a survey of almost 1,500 young people aged 14-24 from across the UK.

Snapchat, the ephemeral photo messaging app, was also seen as a close contender, and most likely to leave users feeling bullied or left out by their peers.

"Instagram easily makes girls and women feel as if their bodies aren't good enough as people add filters and edit their pictures in order for them to look 'perfect, ' " an anonymous female respondent said in the report.

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Based on the ratings, Instagram was listed as having the most negative effect.

Instagram has been rated the worst social media site for young people's mental health, according to a survey.

While social media is though to have a number of positive attributes, such helping young build communities and spread awareness, various studies have linked it with anxiety and depression.

A spokesperson from Samaritans told that work needs to be done to make social media safer for young people. Young people sometimes feel more comfortable talking about personal issues online.

More young people use social media than any other age group, with 90 per cent of young people active across the various platforms.

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Facebook and Twitter should display pop-up warning signs if users are on them for too long, according to health experts. 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.

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