The two seemingly most popular social networks in school hallways, Instagram and Snapchat, are the worst ones for kids to use, as far as mental health is concerned.
Researchers asked 1,479 young people, aged 14 to 24, about social media tools, and how the networks affected their (the kids) mental health. This included things like sleep deprivation, body image, self-identity, and bullying. Snapchat and Instagram were the worst, scoring lowest for body image, bullying, and for causing anxiety. Twitter and Facebook weren’t far behind. On the plus side, YouTube actually was better for positive feelings over negative ones associated with the other mentioned networks.
Instagram and Snapchat instilled the “fear of missing out” factor, which contributes to anxiety. Kids see their friends enjoying things, and they feel like they’re missing out on enjoying life, or not getting to experience the same things as their friends.
Some suggestions that researchers had for the apps include a pop-up warning once a certain “time spent” on social media occurs, and even a watermark that shows when a picture was manipulated rather than as-taken, to help offset negative body-image thoughts.
What would you add to social media to help kids understand what they’re looking at?