On April 30th, Facebook announced that it will be testing hiding likes on Instagram. TikTok similarly announced that it will be working with websites that peddle TikTok likes to reduce the impact that the metric can have on its users mental health. Some will be angered by the proposed change but this could be great news for the wellness community, in light of the ongoing studies that have found Instagram to be the most detrimental social networking app for young people’s mental health.
“It’s interesting to see Instagram ranking as the worst for mental health and wellbeing. The platform is very image focused and it appears that it may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety for young people,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health.
The Economist reported that while social media gave users extra scope for self-expression and community-building; it also exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to bullying and created worries about their body image and “FOMO” (“fear of missing out”). Studies show that these problems tend to be particularly severe among frequent users and young adults.
In fact, studies have shown an increase in major depressive episodes from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8% to 9.6% in young adults. The increase was larger and statistically significant in the age range of 12 to 20 years, arguably social media’s key demographic.
So the question becomes:What are some tools we could develop to help mitigate the negative effects of social media?
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Launched in 2016, Dyynamics is a niche blog committed to profiling creatives from all walks of life no matter their gender, race or sexuality in order to showcase cultural diversity as the force that lends to the progressive development of humanity. The site content includes Q&A’s with visual artists and burgeoning musicians, long-form features on enterprising aesthetes, and detailed recaps of sought after events and travel destinations. Our mission is to focus on “more culture, less news”. Our goal is to connect the informed taste-maker to the people who create or purvey contemporary culture.
Actor and comedian Benito Skinner has come a long way since starting his YouTube channel at the end of 2016. What began as a creative outlet quickly gained an excitable young following, with the comedian’s short one-man character sketches and pop culture parodies embraced as a welcome antidote to the relentless news cycle. “Laughing has always been my way of feeling a little better about things,” he adds. As straight men continue to dominate the international comedy scene, Skinner offers a welcome alternative — and young people are responding in large numbers. With over 477,000 followers on Instagram and more than 110,000 subscribers on YouTube, the multi-talented actor is paving his own career path.