Do you suffer from Facebook depression?
A new study suggests that social media sites have created a new phenomenon known as “Facebook depression”. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned parents about the possible dangers of networking websites on their children’s mental health. Report co-author Gwenn O’Keefe described the way social interaction is changing: “For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house,” she said. Ms O’Keeffe added: “A large part of this generation’s social and emotional development is occurring while on the Internet and on cell phones. Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world, and comfortably parent in that world.”
The report says it is essential for parents to be aware of how social media sites can affect children and that the Internet is not always a healthy environment for kids. The writers also urged parents to be on the lookout for cyber bullying, sexting and online predators. They recommended parents take an active role and discuss things like bullying, privacy and feeling down because of what’s happening on Facebook. A recent poll stated that 22 per cent of teenagers log on to a social media site more than 10 times a day and more than half at least once a day. There are conflicting reports as to whether Facebook helps youngsters, by allowing them to express themselves, or isolates them from society.
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