Survey Reveals: Instagram, Snapchat Worst for Young People’s Mental Health

Do you like taking pictures and posting them on Instagram and Snapchat? It may be damaging to your mental health, according to the latest survey.

BBC reports Instagram and Snapchat as the worst social media platform for mental health among the youth, according to a report published by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM).

Survey Reveals: Instagram, Snapchat Worst for Young People's Mental Health
Background image created by Teksomolika –

Instagram, which currently has about 500 million users worldwide, claims that they are keeping their platform a “safe and supportive place for young people with a top priority”, otherwise. Snapchat, another popular social media app which has 301 million active users, is also considered damaging to the youth’s mental health.

The survey asked 1,479 young people from ages 14 to 24. The participants rated the popular apps on issues like anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image. YouTube was considered to have the most positive impact on mental health, while Snapchat and Instagram had the lowest rating. However, Instagram was rated as positive in terms of self-expression and self-identity.

RSPH said in the report that the two social media platforms are the “most detrimental to young people’s mental health and well being.”

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Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said social media had been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol. She also further stated that there may be potential harm with long term usage of these social media apps.

To address this concern, the RSPH report recommended introduction of a pop-up heavy usage warning on these social media apps. They also suggested that social media platforms to identify users who may be suffering from mental health issues, and discretely signpost for support, and for social media platforms to highlight when photos have been digitally manipulated.

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