ALSO READIn Discover, Snapchat sees a bright spot as it tries to fend off Facebook How to stop Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat from eating up your data Facebook use may harm your mental, physical health: Study How Facebook's social ads use your friends' buying habits to sell to you Social media regulation: PCI seeks to take Facebook, others under its wings
Instagram and Snapchat have turned into highly successful and revolutionary social network platforms as both the applications provide opportunities for increased engagement, curated content and new creativity. Yet there are detractors to social networking as continnuous addiction to social-sharing apps can prove to be harmful to your mental health and damage could be long-term and irrevocable.
Instagram and Snapchat are the most detrimental to young people's mental health and wellbeing, according to a new report on social media platforms which also found that YouTube had the most positive effect.
Researchers conducted a survey of almost 1,500 people (aged 14-24) from across the UK.
The survey asked them to score how each of the social media platforms they use impacts upon 14 health and wellbeing-related issues which were identified by experts as the most significant such as anxiety, loneliness and depression.
Based on the ratings given to each platform for the health and wellbeing-related issues, the five most popular platforms were given a net average score.
YouTube topped the table, followed by Twitter and Facebook.
"Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol, and is now so entrenched in the lives of young people that it is no longer possible to ignore it when talking about young people's mental health issues," said Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive at RSPH.
"It is 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," Cramer said.
"For young people, using social media and digital technologies as a tool to help with mental health make sense for many reasons," said Becky Inkster, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
"It might help improve psychoeducation, increase self- awareness of mental health and act as a preventative measure. Young people sometimes feel more comfortable talking about personal issues online," Inkster said.