A 2017 study by The Royal Society of Public Health shows that 91% of 16-24 year olds use social media. In the report, which asked 1,500 young people aged 11-25 to track their moods while using the five most popular social media sites, it shows YouTube as the most positive platform, with Snapchat and Instagram being the most likely to inspire feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.
The study led Shirley Cramer, chief executive of RSPH, to call for three specific changes:
- a pop-up notification when a young person has spent a certain amount of time online
- a watermark on photos that have been digitally manipulated
- school lessons on how to use social media in a healthy way
Emerging evidence seems to suggest there is a direct link between social media and increased rates of anxiety, depression and poor sleep.