-Young people using social media to find support for mental health conditions are at high-risk of unintentional exposure to graphic content and that discourse could unhelpfully “glamorise” mental illness and prevent young people from accessing professional help.
-While 12% of children who spend no time on social networking websites have symptoms of mental ill health, the figure rises to 27% for those who are on the sites for three or more hours a day.
-Pressure to conform to beauty standards perpetuated and praised online can encourage harmful behaviours to achieve “results”, including disordered eating and body shame.
-46% of girls compared to 38% of all young people reporting that social media had a negative impact on their self-esteem.
Potential Negative Effects
-The publicising of self-harm methods, in particular novel ones, as well as glamorisation of suicide, can lead to further deaths.
- Cyberbullying can cause lasting damaging effects on a young person’s mental health and wellbeing and is more frequently experienced girls, with 40% of girls compared to 25% of boys experiencing online harassment or cyberbullying.
Positive Effects of Social Media
-Social media can have a range of positive effects: providing a platform for self-expression, enhancing social connections, and supporting learning.
-Almost two-thirds (63%) of young people reported social media was a good source of health information.