Instagram ranked 'worst' social media app for young adults' mental health, survey finds

Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat negatively affect young adults' mental health and well-being, according to a new report.

In early 2017, the Royal Society for Public Health — an independent, London-based health education charity — surveyed nearly 1,500 individuals aged 14 to 24 from across the United Kingdom. RSPH asked these young adults to score how social media affected 14 areas of mental health and well-being, such as body image, bullying and loneliness.

The charity on May 19 published its report, titled "#StatusOfMind," which details the ratings participants gave each platform.

Here are the five most popular social media platforms, ranked from most positive to most negative impact on mental health and well-being outcomes.

1. YouTube

2. Twitter

3. Facebook

4. Snapchat

5. Instagram

To address issues associated with image-focused platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, the participating young adults suggested these companies work to identify users who suffer from mental health issues or highlight when photos have been digitally manipulated, among other interventions.

"As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, it is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media less of a wild west when it comes to young people's mental health and well-being," said Shirley Cramer, CEO of RSPH.

Click here to view the full report.

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