New Study Looks Into Mental Health Effects Of Five Social Networks

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study out of the UK called #StatusOfMind looks into the mental health effects of five social networks. So which one ranks the worst?

Researchers have found that Instagram is the “most detrimental” to young people’s mental health — followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“I think when we look at social media there definitely are the pros and the cons, but it’s really a matter of how it’s being used,” said Hannah Beaver, Alumni Coordinator for The Renfrew Centers and Team Leader at The Renfrew Center of Radnor.

READ: Proposed ‘Right To Remove’ Measure Could Change Social Media Policies

“I think when we’re talking about sites like Instagram, a lot of the images being portrayed are not necessarily real,” she said. “I think a lot of it is staged and a lot of it sets the stage for that comparison and being an adolescent and maybe suffering from low self-esteem or just feeling like you’re not belonging and seeing these images, you’re more likely to compare yourself in a negative light.”

The survey studied 1,500 people between age 14 and 24, gauging their social media usage and mental well-being — including body image, bullying, and depression.

The report suggests implementing some protective measures and calls for action from government and social media companies.

“Pop-up messages and having some type of warning or even just putting out a little more info about the potential harm would be a least a good step in raising a little bit of these awareness of that impact,” Beaver said.

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