More than a third of young people in Scotland say they feel pressure to live up to the unrealistic expectations of life portrayed on social media, a survey has found.

The poll of more than 1,000 Scots suggests 18 to 24 year-olds are feeling the strain of trying to match or better the lives of others they see on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

According to the results “life pressures” are building with some respondents believing they are under more stress than they were a year ago.

Royal Bank of Scotland, who commissioned the survey, said more than one in three 18 to 24-year-olds said the sense of pressure had increased in the last 12 months.

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The findings mirror previous studies wwhich have found young people feel pressures from social media to keep up an image of a “perfect lifestyle”.

The latest survey comes a day after it was revealed that the internet played a role in a quarter of teenage suicides.

Professor Louis Appleby, who heads the UK government’s advisory group on suicide, said the research into 595 suicides by young people aged under 20 showed 128 had used the internet in a way that was suicide-related.

Although this included searching for suicide methods or posting suicide messages it also highlighted bullying on social media.

A total of 39 per cent from the latest Royal Bank of Scotland survey said they also felt the need to be constantly contactable by friends, family and employers on social media.

Nearly half of 25-34-year-old workers said they feared it would limit their career prospects if there were not seen to be always available to their managers or company.

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The survey comes after a number of high profile suicides where individuals have been

Dr Kate Orton-Johnson, senior lecturer in digital sociology at Edinburgh University, said smartphones could “blur the boundaries” between private and our public lives.

She said: “For many of us that might mean that the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning and the last thing we do before we go to bed is to look at our phones and check our emails or our social media feeds.

“By doing this we create an environment in which we feel we need and want to be always on and always connected in case we miss out on opportunities, on invitations or on things we have to do.

“This fear of missing out creates the kinds of stress and anxiety that the results are reporting.”

Dr Orton-Johnson said such stress and anxiety was exacerbated by the fact social media feeds were characterised by carefully curated images of other people and their “seemingly perfect lives”.

She added: “So not only are we feeling overwhelmed by constant connectivity, we are also hyper aware of how we are perceived. It is ok and necessary to take downtime.”

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The YouGov survey was commissioned by the Royal Bank of Scotland to understand more about the pressures Scots face.

Across all age groups, one in four Scots admit to having cancelled plans with friends and family due to work commitments in the last month.

Louise Smith, head of intelligent automation at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “This study uncovers some of the challenges many of us are facing, which but often go unnoticed.

“New technology is creating great opportunities and exciting new ways to live our lives, but it is important that we use it to help improve our lives and not control it.”