That's according to the #StatusOfMind study carried out by RSPH and the Young Health Movement (YHM).
Instagram and Snapchat are the social media platforms that have the worst impact on children's mental health, according to a study published by Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and the Young Health Movement (YHM).
The report — released on Friday and titled #StatusOfMind — examined the positive and negative effects of social media on young people's health. It is based on responses from 1,500 young people (aged 14-24) from across the UK.
Children were asked to score how each of the social media platforms they use impacts upon 14 health and wellbeing-related issues, which were identified by experts as the most significant.
The study found that YouTube had the most positive impact, while Instagram and Snapchat were the most detrimental to young people's mental health and wellbeing.
Here's a ranking of the big five platforms:
Negative mental health impacts that can be induced by social media platforms include anxiety, depression, and loneliness. The platforms can also cause children to become body conscious, while FoMo (fear of missing out) and bullying are other issues.
Shirley Cramer, CEO of RSPH, highlighted in a statement that social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol.
"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," she said.
"As the evidence grows that there may be potential harms from heavy use of social media, and as we upgrade the status of mental health within society, it is important that we have checks and balances in place to make social media less of a wild west when it comes to young people's mental health and wellbeing."
RSPH and YHM now want the UK government and social media firms to mitigate the potential negative aspects of social media for young people, while promoting the positive ones.
The report makes a number of recommendations. They include:
The 14 health and wellbeing-related issues that children scored were: