Instagram is the most harmful social networking app for young people's mental health, followed closely by Snapchat, according to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. The study involved almost 1,500 young people aged 14 to 24 and was called #StatusOfMind. It analyzed how some platforms trigger anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. The survey highlighted the occurrence of FOMO - the fear of missing out as people felt insecure when they saw other users’ lives but this app can also be a ground for self-expression and self-identity for many of its young users. YouTube was found to have the most positive impact, while Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter all have negative impacts. The Royal Society for Public Health has called upon social media sites to take action against these social evils by placing a warning on images that have been digitally altered. The society has also recommended the introduction of a pop-up warning to alert users that they have been online for too long.
Sir Simon Wessely, president of the UK's Royal College of Psychiatrists, says that an education-based approach must be used instead of discrediting social media. "I am sure that social media plays a role in unhappiness, but it has as many benefits as it does negatives," he said. "We need to teach children how to cope with all aspects of social media -- good and bad -- to prepare them for an increasingly digitized world. There is a real danger in blaming the medium for the message."
Tags : #StatusOfMind #RoyalSocietyForPublicHealth #RSPH #UK #SocialMedia #Instagram #Snachat #YouTube