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Attention Instagram & Snapchat users! Your mental health is at risk: Report

Snapchat and Instagram were found to have most negative impact on mental health

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Snapchat and Instagram were found to have most negative impact on mental health

and 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 and damage could be long-term and irrevocable.

The new report by Royal Society for Public (RSPH) in the examined the positive and negative effects of on young people's

and are the most detrimental to young people's and wellbeing, according to a new report on 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

The survey asked them to score how each of the platforms they use impacts upon 14 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 and wellbeing-related issues, the five most popular platforms were given a net average score.

YouTube topped the table, followed by Twitter and

and were found to have most negative impact on

"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 issues," said Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive at RSPH.

"It is interesting to see and ranking as the worst for 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.

"It is important that we have checks and balances in place to make less of a wild west when it comes to young people's and wellbeing," she said.

"For young people, using and digital technologies as a tool to help with make sense for many reasons," said Becky Inkster, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge in the

"It might help improve psychoeducation, increase self- awareness of and act as a preventative measure. Young people sometimes feel more comfortable talking about personal issues online," Inkster said.

First Published: Fri, May 19 2017. 13:57 IST