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How Facebook can lead to adolescent depression

29 March
Posted by:
Michael Grose

Troubled teens who obsess over Facebook may be in danger of experiencing depression according to an influential US doctor’s group.

According to Gwenn O’ Keeffe, a Boston-based doctor and co-author of the new American Academy of Paediatrics guidelines for social media “the unique aspects of Facebook can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for young people already dealing with poor self-esteem.”

Adolescence is a tough time for many, with self-doubt, uncertainly and loneliness being common. Most teenagers have an online and offline life.

When the online life presents difficulties many kids seek solace from loneliness on Facebook, but can feel more lonely and depressed as they don’t measure up well according to their peers. Friend tallies, status updates and constant photo updates can make Facebook a very competitive environment, magnifying loneliness and making it harder to connect with others.

Facebook certainly offers a skewed view of the world with friends reduced to statistics and everything being upbeat.

As a parent take an interest in your young person’s online activities. Look for signs of depression such as withdrawal, sadness or moodiness and limit or distract them from away from making it an online obsession.
  • adolescent
  • anxiety
  • depressed
  • depression
  • Facebook
  • media
  • social
  • teenagers
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