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Doctors Warn About New Condition: Facebook Depression

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a study warning against “Facebook Depression.” The onset of this condition is caused by reading statuses about your friends’ interesting lives, and seeing pictures of them having more fun than you. Facebook depression is most likely to occur in young teens, who are already insecure and envious of peers.

Kids and teenagers have always been comparing one another, but the numerical stats Facebook provides make it easier than ever. You can’t argue with someone who says they have more friends, since the exact number is right there on your profile. Doctors cite this ability to rank someone as a main cause of social networking stress. Another cause is the skewed version of reality present on Facebook, and the way people present themselves that is different from real life.

Facebook isn’t very happy about such claims, in fact they may even be depressed. They have issued a statement saying that social media can boost teenagers’ self esteem, so parents having nothing to worry about and the allegations about Facebook depression are unfounded.

I think social media amplifies the teenager’s current state of wellbeing. If they are popular and have lots of friends in real life, then they will feel connected and enjoy their social media life online. If they are an outcast with no friends, they will see what kids who do have friends are doing, and sink deeper into loneliness and depression. What do you think?

Photo credit Jessica B
Photo credit Bryan Peters