The Social Media Platforms Most Harmful To Mental Health

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Which Social Platforms most increase the likelihood of depression?

In 2021, the harmful impact of social media is a contentious issue. Since 2020, and the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, social media usage has increased exponentially across all age groups and across all generations. 

The internet and social media has a huge amount of benefits, such as easy communication with friends and family, sharing recipes, tips, tricks, and other forms of education. There’s no denying that social media makes our lives easier – but are they harmful by design? 

In a US study completed by Harvard, over 5000 people were surveyed about social media over a number of years to understand which social platforms were the most harmful and the most likely to increase depression. 

The study conducted had those 5000 people surveyed regularly to gauge all levels of depression, and they found that the social media platforms which influenced the highest levels of depression were Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok. 

The study found that the likelihood of depression increased by 53% for those regularly using snapchat, 42% for those regularly using Facebook, and 39% for those who regularly use TikTok. The contrast was stark between adults who did not use these apps, and adults who did. The adults who used these apps regularly had a much higher likelihood of depression. 

It is important to remember that these apps are designed to promote overconsumption and to market to its users. It is important to be wary of what you consume while using social media platforms, and to take care of your mental health.

While social media is an incredible tool and source of information and entertainment, it is good to remember that regardless of age, social media will impact negatively on your mental health. You are not immune.

It is worthwhile remembering to step back from social media, to protect your own mental health. Here are some tips for cutting down on social media:

  • Scheduling a time of day in which you consume the news so that you do not feel as though you’re missing anything, but also you are not over-consuming, is a great way to give your brain a rest and digest what you’ve read or watched without feeling overwhelmed. Try to limit yourself to 20-25 minutes per day. Alternatively, swap out social media scrolling for watching the news on the television, or in a newspaper. 
  • Distracting yourself with a hobby, or a pastime is a great way of avoiding and replacing needless scrolling or overconsumption. It’s good to give our brains a break. Find something that brings you joy and use it to distract yourself from your phone.  
  • If you do find yourself itching to read up on current events, try looking at ‘good news’ news sources like the good news network. News on social media in 2021 is based around clicks and click-bait, even reputable news sources are guilty of targeting their audiences this way. Don’t subscribe to this way of thinking, not everything going on in the world is negative, in the real-world outside of social media, so many good things are happening. Why don’t you check it out for yourself! 

Our last piece of advice here at RiskEye is to be kind to yourself. As the world remerges post-global health crisis, many are struggling to adjust to ‘normal’ life again. Take it easy on yourself, and remember that the world is a very different place outside of the internet. 

At RiskEye, we want to promote positivity online, and our aim is to keep social safe – to protect people and businesses online. RiskEye monitor your brand online 24/7, using real people to send you alerts, so you don’t have to spend so much time watching for risk or harm. 

For an insight into online risk and what it means for you, check out our website, or email [email protected]. We make social safer!



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