A third of young people have been the victim of cyber bullying as a new study reveals the darker side of social media.
The survey by Opinium Research has claimed that, beyond the baby photos and hot dog legs, social media can encourage a slew of negative emotions.
According to the findings ten per cent of UK social media users have received abuse or insulting messages online.
One in five people with social media accounts say they or someone they know has been a victim of cyber bullying, jumping to a third amongst 18-34 year olds.
Amongst this age group, one in six say that they have been sent offensive material and more than one in ten 13 per cent have been trolled by someone.
Almost a fifth of Brits in the Opinium study admit to not portraying a true image of themselves on social media, while a further 37 per cent say they “mostly” portray a true image.
The study also showed that 18 per cent of social media users have been tagged in photos they didn’t want uploaded, rising to 31 per cent of those aged 18-34 year olds.
One in ten have discovered they have been excluded from an event by seeing it on social media, while 12 per cent have fallen out with someone because of something that has happened online.
Senior Research Manager and head of Technology at Opinium Research James Sweatman said: “The explosion of social media platforms has been one of the most remarkable developments to come out of the internet.
“Although there are many positives, it does seem that social media can also be hub for bullying and anxiety for many.
“The fact these negative trends seem most prevalent amongst younger social media users suggests that those who have grown up using social media need to be reminded that although so many of our interactions now take place in a virtual world, the feelings they inspire are all too real.”