Endorsing the idea of perfect with all the filters and embellishments it has to offer, Instagram has taken over a chunk of people's life like nothing before. It's right now, the best place to show off fancy vacations, fancy dinners, and other images of absolute perfection.
Going against the flow, there have been health enthusiasts and do-gooders who did try to upload pictures of themselves at various times of the day, trying to emphasize that your body cannot be a sheet without folds, but not much seems to have changed. Royal Society of Public Health and Young Health Movement in their report #StateOfMind gave the five most popular social networks net average scores based on the ratings given by youngsters. The results show that the most popular social media networks are the ones doing our mental health the most harm.
Instagram ranked first in the list, is followed by Snapchat. YouTube happened to be the only social media website that has a positive impact on people. According to the research, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram - four of the five most used platforms- worsened social anxiety for their users. Judging by the way anxiety and depression has increased by 70%, there are chances that we're entering a future where one out of six might experience anxiety and depression at least once in their lives.
Mashable quotes Shirley Cramer CBE — chief executive of RSPH,
It’s interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.
This is further backed by Laci Green, a health YouTuber with 1.5 million subscribers, who agrees that social media has dramatically shifted how people socialise, communicate, and form relationships. She says,
Because platforms like Instagram and Facebook present highly curated versions of the people we know and the world around us, it is easy for our perspective of reality to become distorted.
In the hope of making things better for the social media junkies that we've become, RSPH is calling on social media platforms to mark digitally manipulated images. The organisation is also putting forth that a pop-up, warning heavy usage, should be introduced.
You can watch the State Of Mind video here: