Almost 1,500 young people between the ages of 14-24 were surveyed for a recent report on the way social networking sites, like Instagram and Facebook, affected their mental health. Specifically, the researchers wanted to know how social media affected anxiety, depression, self-identity, and body image. Vogue reports on the study conducted by the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health and the Young Health Movement. Conclusively, the report “…found that Instagram has the ‘most detrimental’ effect on young people (followed by Snapchat and Facebook). Primarily, it was young women who were most severely impacted by Instagram. “Instagram’s signature photo-filtering features is one of the culprits,” the article explains, “with young women in particular saying it causes them to see everyone else through rose-colored….glasses and to feel bad about their own lives and bodies as a result.” Perception was not the only damage. Negative body image, disrupted sleep patterns, and a deep sense of “FOMO”, or the fear of missing out, were also problematic. One of the other correlations between suffering mental health and social media is the amount of time spent on social media. This is not the first report to reveal that the more time spent scrolling through Instagram, double tapping photos, and scrutinously editing photos, as well as hashtags, the more mental health issues. The report went so far as to describe the effects of social media on young people’s mental health a “crisis”.
Is Social Media A Mental Health Crisis?
Rightfully, its becoming a conversation to wonder if social media truly deserves all the attention it is getting. In recent months, numerous “insta-famous” “instagram stars” have come forward about the fake life they publish on their social media pages which masks deep emotional pain. Anorexia, eating disorders, alcoholism, and more have been hidden behind the scenes. The reason social media and mental health continue to be discussed and analyzed is because there is a unique opportunity at hand. First of all, if young people, or any people, are suffering in their mental health because of their social media use, that is a considerable problem. However, the opportunity is to put principles of recovery into the spotlight. It’s okay to have mental health issues. It’s okay to talk about depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Honesty and authenticity are essential for personal recovery and inspiring the recovery of others.
LEAD Recovery Center encourages autonomous living in recovery through a transitional residential care system for men and women. Leadership, mentorship, adventure therapy, and more provide the framework for a new level of healing and growing into independent recovery. For more information on our programs, call us today at 800-380-0012