Social Media Platform That's Making Young People Sadder

Rank of platforms on your mental health

Social Media Platform That's Making Young People Sadder

Instagram has been labelled the platform with the biggest effect on young people's mental health.

It's prompted warnings for parents to chat to their kids about their social media habits.

The survey was conducted in the UK, and found that for people aged between 14 and 24, the image-sharing app was the one that mostly effected anxiety, depression and loneliness.

1,500 participants in the age range took part in the test, which made the almost unanimous conclusion.

The study also found that 90 per cent of young people in the UK use Instagram, with the likelihood Australian kids are using the platform in the same numbers.

Snapchat also ranked high on the list of platforms negatively effecting mental health.

Again, Snapchat users are overwhelming between of 13 to 20.

The report concluded perhaps what many of us already knew, that 'image focused' platforms can have the greatest impact on young minds.

BBC News reports that the instigators of the study are now lobbying social media platforms to include a warning to users when they have been scrolling through the app for a set period of time. They say this will help in identifying users who are more at risk of mental health issues. If introduced, the warning will also feature a discreet message on where people can access help should they need it.

But of course, the best way to combat these feelings in our kids is to first find out if they are experiencing them. So, we're being told the first step is to talk to our kids and find out about how their social media usage is making them feel - both consciously and subconsciously.

Additionally, the study organisers have proposed that social media platforms to include a mandatory disclaimer saying whether an image has been altered or enhanced in anyway. When we're looking at online culture, it's also very important to consider how young minds may not recognise the difference between a touched-up photo and a natural photo. So, again, discussion is the key to combating the effects.

The study went on to rank the platforms in order of the pressure exerted on our mental health:

5. YouTube

4. Twitter

3. Facebook

2. Snapchat

1. Instagram

Interestingly, the top three are those with the highest amount of users suggesting some connection between the number of users and the impact on mental health. Overwhelming, those at the top of the rank are populated by younger users.

(source: BBC News)