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Social networks: Instagram network particularly harmful to mental health?


Which social media platform has the most negative effects on our psyche?
The use of social media platforms can have a negative impact on mental health. There are currently five particularly successful social platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The researchers have now found that of these platforms, Instagram has the most harmful effects on mental health.

The UK’s Royal Society for Public Health’s researchers found that using Instagram has the greatest negative impact on mental health compared to other social media platforms. The doctors released a press release on the results of their study.

Manipulating photos leads to problems
For their investigation, the experts interviewed young people between the ages of 14 and 23 on topics such as anxiety and depression. Of all the platforms, YouTube was the most harmless to the psyche. But the use of YouTube can also affect sleep and body image. Fears and bullying are often to blame for this, say the experts. Instagram is considered particularly harmful, but what are the reasons for this? For example, Instagram makes it easier for young girls and women to feel better in their bodies. This is achieved by the possibility that those affected can add filters and edit their pictures, the doctors explain. However, such images can cause jealousy in other young women and make those affected more dissatisfied with their own bodies.

Are there any warnings about possible dangers on social media platforms soon?
Social media platform users often reported higher levels of anxiety and other mental health problems. The experts advocate warnings on such platforms if those affected exceed a specified and potentially harmful level of use. The user can then decide whether to continue or not. Such warnings could include links to information and advice on social media addiction, the scientists add.

Edited photos should be marked
According to the experts, social platforms should begin to mark manipulations on photos. However, it is still not clear how exactly these platforms can implement such improvements, the researchers say. One reason for this is that user-generated content is difficult to monitor. For example, the brands suggest that fashion brands, celebrities and advertising organizations voluntarily display a small symbol on edited photos that identifies digitally altered images.

Social media platforms should actually have positive benefits
So-called social media platforms are supposed to help young people to connect with each other. In fact, using these platforms can lead to psychological problems.

Children need to be properly prepared for all aspects of social media platforms
Social media platforms can lead to psychological problems, but using them can also have benefits for those affected, the authors explain. We have to teach our children how to deal with all aspects of social media platforms, the expert adds. This includes both the good and the bad effects. This is the only way to prepare them adequately for the increasingly digital world. (as)

Author and source information


Video: Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health? Bailey Parnell. TEDxRyersonU (August 2020).