March 28th, 2011

Teens who use Facebook, social media may suffer from new condition called 'Facebook depression'

New York Daily News

Teens who frequently use Facebook have more to worry about than lost homework time.

A new condition dubbed “Facebook depression” may affect teenagers who spend a significant amount of time on the social-networking site, researchers warned in the latest issue of Pediatrics Journal.

The problem, researchers found, was that the popular website’s constant feed of status, picture and message updates gave users a skewed view of reality, which could make vulnerable kids feel like they aren’t good enough.

Facebook, according to the study, can create a false reality because people normally post the best sides of themselves, or at least not the full story.

Users like 16-year-old Abby Abolt agreed.

“If you really didn’t have that many friends and weren’t really doing much with your life, and saw other peoples’ status updates and pictures and what they were doing with friends, I could see how that would make them upset,” Abolt told The Associated Press. “It’s like a big popularity contest – who can get the most friend requests or get the most pictures tagged.”

But cutting off the site might not be so easy. A 2010 Pew survey found that 72% of American teens have social network profiles.

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