48% of people said social media makes them feel self-conscious and 41% said it makes them feel lonely.

‘Devil’, ‘hell’, ‘evil’, ‘invisible’, ‘manipulative’, ‘controlling’, ‘embarrassing’ , ‘free’, ‘happiness’, ‘harmony’, ‘important’ and ‘positive’ were words used to describe Mental Health.

"Use social media to reach out and make contacts you can positively enjoy in the real world – which is where you should spend most of your time.” Dear Deidre

Do you believe social media plays a role in our mental wellbeing?

We wanted to find out if there is a link between our mental health and social media behaviour, so we asked the UK public how social media makes them feel about themselves and towards others, and how they would feel if it no longest existed. Although social media is designed to ‘connect people’, it has become an acceptance to have it according to 40% of those asked.

The truth is we are too concerned about how we are being judged and perceived by others that we are forgetting what social media is really about.

41% said social media makes them feel lonely & 35% feel anxious.

65% of 16-19 year olds & 64% of 20-25 year olds are the most self-conscious.

47% of people said social media makes them feel jealous towards others & 21% feel resentful.

But, it’s not all negative, 45% said social media makes them feel proud & 26% show feelings of excitement.

22% said they would feel bored if social media was taken away & 18% would feel isolated.

43% of the 26-30 year olds would feel relieved if social media no longer existed.

39% said the world would be a better place without social media & 20% think it would be worse.

And as for the rest… 41% wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

"I think we are in an era where people are so mentally divided over what they want to gain out of social media - people are rightfully worried about being overly monitored online, whilst at the same time being worried that no one will pay attention to what they post.” James Nicholls, Senior Analyst, ASM Global Route Development, Routes

So why do we use social media? According to 86% of people asked, it’s to stay in touch with friends and family, which is what social media was and still is designed for. 47% use it to create memories & 42% use it as a way to escape. And if you use it to keep an eye on things, you’re not alone as 32% will use social media to be nosey, especially if you live in the North West!

62% said they will spend over 3 hours a day on social media & 13% will keep it to a minimum and spend up 1 hour a day.

How accurate is your Facebook profile and followers you interact with? Fortunately, we’re a fairly honest bunch as 51% said Facebook profile is accurate & only 22% tweaked it slightly – especially in Northern Ireland as 41% said they ‘jazzed’ it up a bit. But 14% admitted that it wasn’t truthful.

It’s not surprising that Facebook stands out as the most popular social media site with 82%, followed by YouTube with 77% and Snapchat with 70%. Instagram is used by 66% of those asked. Despite how social media can make us feel and time spent on it, we still prefer to interact with people in ‘real life’ and not via social media. It was an 81% / 19% split.

Living in the celebrity obsessed and selfie era, it’s understandable why so many people feel self-conscious and anxious. In fact from those asked, 57% said they have been diagnosed with anxiety.

"The ability to represent your life as though it is just the highlights, could help mask those suffering with issues as well as providing a misrepresentation of other people’s lives when they only show the 'best bits', making others feels unduly unhappy and believing they have less value or are less capable. This could quickly spiral out of control into serious issues.” Steven Rigby, Social Business Manager, UBM

We should join forces with those who use social media to create happy memories, and connect with friends and family, so we can express positive feelings of excitement and joy.

To read the full results from the survey, click here.

Do you think more needs to be done in the workplace to support Mental Health? Click here to see if you share the same thoughts as these business professionals.