One study reveals that four of the five most popular social networks can damage the mental health of the adolescents . Instagram, the social network of photos and videos, has the most negative impact on the mental well-being of adolescents, according to a survey in which about 1,500 people between 14 and 24 years old have participated.
This survey concludes that Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are also dangerous. Only YouTube has a positive impact on this population.
But, why do these networks influence negatively? The four social networks can exaggerate the concerns that the young people have about their image , besides producing problems of sleep, anxiety, depression and solitude.
Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter are the social networks worst valued by the impact they have on the youngest. These social networks produce disorders such as depression, anxiety, loneliness or sleep problems.
This finding comes on the back of growing concern among political groups, health agencies, doctors, charities and parents about the harm suffered by young people as a result of sexting, cyberbullying and other problems arising from social networks that reinforce Feelings of self-hatred to the point that some people think of suicide.
“It’s interesting to see that Instagram and Snapchat are the most harmful social networks for mental health and well-being. Both platforms are very image-centric and seem to be driving feelings of insecurity and anxiety in young people,” explains Shirley Cramer, Executive director of the Royal Society of Public Health of the United Kingdom, the body responsible for conducting this study, according to The Guardian .
Cramer demands that action be taken “to make social networks not become a ‘wild west’ when it comes to the mental health of the youngest .” The doctor believes that these companies should warn young people if they spend a lot of time connected and even alert users when the photographs have been digitally manipulated.
The 1,479 young people who participated in the survey had to answer questions about the impact of these social networks on 15 aspects of health and well-being, including its effect on sleep, anxiety, depression, loneliness and self-identity among other aspects .
Instagram has been the social network worst rated, particularly for its impact on sleep, body image and feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness. However, young people also noted positive aspects such as self-expression, self-identity and emotional support.
YouTube has been worst rated for its impact on sleep, but has scored positive in nine of the 14 categories studied, such as other people’s health, self-expression, loneliness, or emotional support.