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Instagram may be bad for your mental health

Photo: Digitalphade/Pixabay

Not feeling too good about yourself? Maybe your first option shouldn’t be to scroll through Instagram photos.

A new survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health in collaboration with the Young Health Movement, found that Instagram ranks as one of the worst social networks, “driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”

The survey questioned 1,479 people ages 14 to 24, found that Instagram ranked at the top for self-expression and self-identity. However, it also negatively impacted people’s perceptions about their body image, resulted in them getting less sleep, and brought about the feeling of the “fear of missing out”.

Not surprisingly enough, Snapchat ranks just behind Instagram.

Out of the five social networks surveyed, Facebook ranked in the middle, while YouTube actually brought about positive change and support, followed by Twitter.

“As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, 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 well-being.”

Dr Becky Inkster, honorary research fellow at the University of Cambridge, said: “Young people sometimes feel more comfortable talking about personal issues online.

“As health professionals, we must make every attempt to understand modern youth culture expressions, lexicons, and terms to better connect with their thoughts and feelings.”

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