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Q:

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That is the title of an article published by fyi Living. It talks about how social networking, such as Facebook can really harm teen mental health if used extremely regularly. A professor of psychology believes that teens who constantly use Facebook "show more aggression, mania, anxiety and depression.” They believe that it gets worse as the teens age. It also brings up that Facebook depression is real and may some day be a clinical term.

I've heard stories of teens bullying or gossiping using Facebook, instant messaging, and even e-mail. It really did affect the ones they targeted. The internet is just another vessel people use to communicate. It could be another vessel teens utilize for all sorts of communication and since bullying and gossiping happens in real life, it seems like it would transcend online as well.

What do you think about this?

Bri Luginbill asked this
August 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

A:

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Funny you brought this up - I was just thinking about this the other day. I would not be at all surprised if "Facebook depression" did become a clinical term.

Facebook encourages people to spend a lot of time on the computer. While you're on Facebook, you can also hear about/see pictures from activities your friends did - and, if you weren't there, you can feel left out or anxious. I know that's happened to me before.

Basically, it gives teens the tools they need to overanalyze things, and fosters loneliness. Facebook definitely isn't all bad, but for people with a tendency towards low self-esteem, it can be brutal.

Laura Hogg answered
August 18, 2011 at 3:53 PM

I blocked my daughter's facebook. She was addicted to it. She would get angry when people with say comments she didn't like. She has ADHD and it was just a distraction. She is more focused on her homework now. She talks more to me and seems happier.

Ann answered
August 31, 2011 at 7:34 AM

Thanks for sharing, Ann.

Facebook can be really addictive. And when others post mean comments, it can be so hurtful. I am sorry your daughter had to go through that. My brother and I had a huge fight through texting and facebook/social networking. And for some reason, I cannot figure out how to delete old messages. They may have changed the feature, so they are continually recorded. Anyways, when we started talking again, all the old, mean messages were still there. It was hard because we had forgiven each other, but if we wanted to, we could look back at all the mean things we had said.

However, facebook and other social networks can be very helpful as well. It all depends on how we use them. They are set up to be a resource for us. But like any resource, it can be easy to abuse.

I think it comes down to moderation when using social networking. But I agree with you, sometimes it gets to a point where it's good to block out social networking all together.

Would you ever consider unblocking your daughter's facebook in the future? Would the idea of moderation work for her?

Bri Luginbill answered
August 31, 2011 at 7:47 AM
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Childrens HealthDepressionEmotional Health

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