Instagram rated worst media for mental health

With many social media options, small businesses need focus

The Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement (YHM) conducted the #StatusOfMind survey, examining the positive and negative effects of social media on a young person's health.

"It's interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing - both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people".

Meanwhile, 80 per cent think social media platforms should identify users who could be suffering from mental health, and point them out to support groups.

Instagram has been deemed the social network most likely to have a negative affect on the mental health and wellbeing of children, according to a new report.

"Every day people from all over the world use Instagram to share their own mental health journey and get support from the community", she said.

With social media's global presence showing little signs of abating, the RSPH has called on companies to do more to tackle its adverse effects of young people and has issued a series of recommendations.

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.

YouTube scored badly for its impact on sleep but was ranked well in nine other categories, including awareness and understanding of other people's health experience, self-expression, loneliness, depression and emotional support.

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The Royal Society for Public Health and the charity Young Health Movement conducted a survey in the first few months of 2017 of nearly 1,500 young people (aged between 14 and 24) in Britain surrounding their social media usage.

Faced with thousands of pictures posted on social platforms, "nine in 10 girls say they are unhappy with their body" and women are thinking about making various changes to their appearance, including surgery.

Instagram was rated the most negatively, followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and then YouTube.

By 2019, the sponsorship money influencers receive on Instagram alone is set to more than double from about $1 billion this year to almost $2.4 billion, according to a recent estimate by Mediakix.

In a survey of nearly 1,500 Britons aged 14 to 24, the RSPH found that young people were most likely to associate Instagram with negative attributes and low self-esteem, resulting in poor body image and lack of sleep.

"But it's also important to recognise that simply "protecting" young people from particular content types can never be the whole solution".

Another said they were spending so much time on the sites they were losing out on sleep, their homework and time with friends and family.

Michelle Napchan, the app's head of policy, said: "Keeping Instagram a safe and supportive place, where people feel comfortable expressing themselves, is our top priority - particularly when it comes to young people".

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