INSTAGRAM WORST SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR YOUTH:
Can social media be bad for your mental wellbeing? Definitely so, according to a new study released by the Royal Society for Public Health in London, and Young Health Movement.
According to the study, called #StatusOfMind, Instagram is the worst social media platform for you – “climbing to get somewhere that you are never going to reach,” is how one young person sums it up in an RSPH video. YouTube was ranked the best (out of five – Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat being the others).
Almost 1,500 young people from across the United Kingdom were surveyed and were asked to score how each of the social media platforms impacted 14 significant personal health and well-being issues, such as emotional support, anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-identity and body image.
As late as 2016, the issue of social media and young people was debated by MPs in the British Parliament. Are these platforms, designed to help young people, actually fuelling a mental health crisis?
One-half of the people surveyed between the ages of 14-24 said Instagram and Facebook exacerbated feelings of anxiety. Instagram made them feel worse when talking about body image. Cyber-bullying was made worse by Facebook, two in three said.
Adolescence is a critical and vulnerable time for emotional and social development. And social media promotes anxiety and psychological stress if over-used – feelings of unworthiness and despair, and inadequacy, according to the report.
That becomes even more of an issue when one measures their own post and pictures against photoshopped or staged images, or views a barrage of images of videos of others enjoying life, making the individual feel that their life is more mundane. “Fear of Missing Out” was one of the common maladies referenced in the report. This was connected to an urge to pick up the smartphone. That, in turn, in many cases, means things like school studies suffer.
The report also highlighted positive effects of social media on health – learning about other people’s health experiences (health literacy) can be hugely beneficial to understanding one’s own situation, for example, as well as using social media to boost self-identity and self-expression (“put forward their best self”).
For access to the study, head here:
redgreentree has an exclusive one-on-one interview the author of the study Matt Keracher (), to further discuss the findings and recommendations.
#StatusOfMind – INTERVIEW WITH MATT KERACHER FROM THE RSPH
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