Report from All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media – Managing the Impact of Social Media on Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing.
KEY FINDINGS CALLS TO ACTION
• Social media can have a range of positive effects: providing a platform for self-expression, enhancing social connections, and supporting learning.
• 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.
• Almost two-thirds (63%) of young people reported social media was a good source of health information.
• 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.
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