— Mental Health Matters

Research shows that this social media platform is the most damaging to mental health

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Experiencing your teens, 20’s, and 30’s is way different now than back in the day. Why? Well, now we’re exposed to social media. But sometimes social media can damage your mental health — especially if used in excess. And now, brand new studies are showing which apps and networks are the most harmful to us in the long-run. (Note: This doesn’t mean that we’ll stop using them, but — it’s at least good information to put on the backburner while we scroll through our feeds.)

The Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM) surveyed 1,500 young people between the ages of 14 and 24 to get a good idea of which social media platforms can negatively affect our anxiety levels and sense of self-worth.

 It turns out that Instagram was ranked as the “most damaging,” followed by Snapchat. Facebook was the third worst — although we have a feeling that it might have scored even higher a few years ago. (You know, back in its heyday, before your grandmother had an account.)

The study was called #StatusOfMind, and it’s definitely making us think.

Based on the video that was released, it’s pretty interesting to see that most young adults are truly aware of the effects that these platforms might have on our mental health.

“I know that I’ve spent maybe about half an hour taking like, the perfect studying picture,” one individual said.

We’ve all been there.

So, what do Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all have in common? They’re based on images — preferably, images showcasing a life well lived. Even if that happens to be a bit curated.

“Both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people,” Shirley Cramer CBE, the chief executive of RSPH, said in regards to Instagram and Snapchat.

Interestingly enough, the one platform that came off in a positive light? YouTube.

 Perhaps since it’s more a form of entertainment. Individuals often go to YouTube either to de-stress — and those who have their own channels usually provide information, and often a little bit of humor.

Just remember, next time you’re feeling a little down — or need some time by yourself to mentally re-focus — you might want to avoid checking your Instagram account for a few days.

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