Social media a powerful tool in todays society, racking up over a billion users with no limit to how much can be posted. More commonly, websites like Facebook and Instagram offer insights into to lives of other, like friends and family, making the internet a social place. Features like these mean that friends can keep up to date with each other’s lives and the lives of others to share moments or messages that are important to them.

This of course isn’t without it’s drawbacks however, with recent studies showing younger people in particular are experiencing envy over their friends having better times than themselves, which can even lead to other becoming depressed or lonely.

The tie between social media and mental health has already been made present, with many sources stating that spending too much time on these types of websites can be harmful to users as more time is spent using them and can even pose a risk to mental health in the long term, but is this a blanket statement?

Nearly one third of students surveyed said that envy is frequent when looking at their friends’ Instagram accounts because of these reasons, which is brought about even more so through the holiday period, and 47% of these students said they did not spend enough time with their friends over the Christmas period, leading even further to more positive points such as these sites allowing people to stay in touch with their friends where this may otherwise not be possible.

Overall, this topic seems to have a very split argument, as despite ‘party envy’ showing to be a minor problem, 40% of students surveyed also said that seeing these posts and this type of content make them think about those less fortunate than themselves, with social media being ‘an important lifeline to the outside world. Parents are advised to remain aware of what their child is doing online.