Instagram and Snapchat are the most detrimental social media to young people’s mental health and wellbeing, says a report from Royal Societyfor Public Health.
The report ranking social media according to impact on mental health found that YouTube had the most positive impact.
Social media has been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep and 7 in 10 young people say they have experienced cyber bullying.
The report highlighted studies that show young women who use Facebook even for a short period of time have more body image concerns than those who don’t use Facebook.
The report also found that social media can improve young people’s access to health information and help them feel emotionally supported.
The society called for an introduction of a pop-up heavy usage warning, social media platforms to identify users experiencing mental health problems and discretely signpost support and for platforms to highlight when photos of people have been digitally manipulated.
Shirley Cramer from the Royal Society for Public Health said: “Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-identity, express ourselves, and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health.”