In Brief

Instagram rated worst social network for mental health

Photo-sharing app considered to have a negative impact on body image and sleep pattern

instagram.jpg

Instagram is the worst social network for users' mental health, according to a poll conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

More than 1,400 young people aged 14 to 24 were asked to score social media platforms for their negative impacts, citing anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image.

The photo-sharing app came bottom, with users saying it impacted on their body image and sleep pattern and increased "fomo" - the fear of missing out.

It was followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The survey is the centrepiece of a report by RSPH and the organisation Young Health Movement which recommends social media platforms introduce pop-up warnings to advice people when to rest rest after a period of heavy usage.

Some 71 per cent of the young people surveyed said they would back such a system.

The report also proposes that social media platforms identify those who may have mental health problems through the content they post and then "discretely signpost" where they can find support.

A third recommendation calls on the sites to flag up images that have been digitally manipulated in an attempt to avoid damaging a user's body image.

However, the survey also found instances where Instagram was considered good. It was ranked favourably for facilitating self-expression, community building and helping users find a sense of self-identity.

Facebook rated negatively for bullying and affecting sleep patterns but positively for emotional support and building online communities. YouTube was the only site felt to have a more positive than negative impact on users.

Recommended

Why real wages have suffered ‘their sharpest fall on record’
Morning commuters on London Bridge in May 2022
Business Briefing

Why real wages have suffered ‘their sharpest fall on record’

How Britain’s inflation became the ‘worst in the G7’
A man shopping
Talking point

How Britain’s inflation became the ‘worst in the G7’

When are the next rail strikes?
Departure boards show cancelled train services
In Focus

When are the next rail strikes?

Is it dangerous to swim off Britain’s beaches?
Sewage seen in the sea at Seaford
Today’s big question

Is it dangerous to swim off Britain’s beaches?

Popular articles

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’
William and Kate
In Depth

Inside Adelaide Cottage: Prince William and Kate’s new home ‘away from prying eyes’

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 16 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner