Feeling depressed lately? You may want to stay off social media. Instagram is the most damaging social media app when it comes to young people's mental health, according to new research.
The photo-sharing app, which is owned by Facebook and currently has 700 million users worldwide, is the social media platform that's most likely to cause depression, anxiety, and loneliness among young people, according to a U.K.-wide study by the Royal Society for Public Health (RPSH) released on Friday, May 19.
The survey via the Young Health Movement was conducted on 1,5000 people, ages 14 to 24. The RPSH discovered that their mental health plummeted when frequenting Instagram. It resulted in depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body image issues, and sleep problems.
Snapchat, the popular photo messaging app, was another close contender. It makes young people feel often left out or bullied by their peers.
Those aren't the only social media platforms that are damaging to young people. Out of the five most popular forms of social media, Facebook and Twitter also arm young people's mental health. YouTube was the only platform that had a "positive" effect on teens' well-being, reports The Guardian.
Social media platforms with net negative impact:
The RSPH is asking for social media companies to feature "heavy usage" warnings on their platforms. This will allow users to take a break after a certain amount of time. The organization also wants social media platforms to make a note when photos of people have been digitally altered or Photoshopped. They also want to identify users who are suffering from mental health problems based on their posts, and provide them support discreetly offline.
Facebook has been making changes. Back in March, they integrated its suicide-prevention tools into Facebook Live. If a user is watching a live broadcast where someone expresses suicidal thoughts, that user can report the video and discreetly get the person help. Last year, Facebook expanded its suicide-prevention tools to all languages supported by the social media platform.
Thankfully, there are ways to avoid the trap of social media. Mental health, mindfulness, and positivity apps have been on the rise. A new app called Relieved helps those who are suffering from depression and anxiety. It's a mental chat application that sufferers can download for free. It's ideal for those who don't have the money to seek counseling or therapy.
It's the first depression chat and support community. It helps those who suffer from some of the following mental health problems:
You can also browse by age, gender, location, photos only, and ethnicity. Relieved is a safe and secure app to use. It ensures your privacy and account security.
You can choose to keep your photos private. You can give access to those you allow to view your albums. You also have control of whom you communicate with. If you feel uncomfortable with a user, then you can block them on the app.
Relieved is changing the scope of technology. If you're feeling down, avoid social media. Instead, download the Relieved app and reach out to those who understand what you're going through.
[Featured image by SanchaiRat/Shutterstock.com]