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.
The new report by Royal Society for Public Health
(RSPH) in the UK
examined the positive and negative effects of social media
on young people's health.
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.
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
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.
"It is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media
less of a wild west when it comes to young people's mental health
and wellbeing," she 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.