Ranking the worst social media apps for your mental health

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  • It’s time for digital detox

    You’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t on social media these days, because everyone from your little brother to your grandma has at least one Facebook account. Getting online is just a way of life now, but according to new research, it could be to the detriment of young people, as the worst social media apps for mental health have been named.

    The Royal Society for Public Health’s #statusofmind campaign asked young Britons about the effects of social media on their wellbeing. Over 1,400 young people aged 14 to 24 were surveyed and the results were a bit grim, as the study concluded that social media was “more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol” and correlated with increased 70% in Britain of the number of young people with anxiety/depression over 25 years. .

    Instagram and Snapchat were officially the worst culprits. Primarily visual platforms have been shown to affect perceptions of body image the most negatively (9 out of 10 women admitted they were unhappy with their bodies), as well as anxiety and deprivation sleep. FOMO, or fear of missing out, was also a factor in the study and young people admitted that both platforms also contributed to their anxiety about being left out of popular social events.

    However, it wasn’t all bad, as the results also revealed that social media had the potential “to improve people’s access to other people’s health experiences and expert information about health.” health”. A number of YouTubers have already got the ball rolling on this front, with UK users like Charlie McDonnell and Lucy Moon opening up about their struggles with depression and alcoholism respectively.

    In fact, YouTube has been identified as having the most positive impact on its audience with the highest instances of mental health awareness and supportive communities. As one of the most accessible platforms, it has also helped alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness and has been considered one of the best places for self-expression and identity. self.

    The study didn’t stop there, however, and provided suggestions on how social media could be improved to negate unpleasant side effects. Some of them included creating heavy usage warnings in the app, introducing social media awareness classes at school, flagging when photos are heavily edited and also creating a technology that would automatically identify and help users struggling with mental health issues.

    worst social media apps

    Instagram recently took action on these new suggestions. Last year, they introduced a feature for users to report users they believe are struggling with mental health issues. The app then relays information about relevant mental health helplines, contacts and advice to help the user.

    Shirley Cramer CBE of the Royal Society for Public Health said: “Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape our identity, express ourselves and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health.”

    For those with mental health issues, the Samaritans provide 24/7 assistance on their 116 123 helpline and can also be emailed to [email protected]

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