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Pediatricians Concern Over Facebook Depression

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

Does your child have a Facebook account? If so, we know you worry about how much time they spend reading the news feed, uploading pictures and updating their status. Now there may be something else to be concerned about: Facebook Depression.

Friend count, status updates, and photos of happy looking pals having a good time can all influence your child’s behavior and may be harmful to teens who may already be battling psychological issues like depression.

Researchers can not agree on whether it’s simply an extension of depression or a specific condition linked to using the social media site.

Dr. Gwenn O’Keefe is the lead author of new social media guidelines for The American Academy of Pediatrics and believes there are some unique characteristics of Facebook that can make it difficult for kids who are already dealing with social, psychological and behavioral issue.

Watching your friends and others having a good time can be very painful to a teen who feels alone and depressed.  Some teens feel the more friends you have, the more popular you are, but this is not necessarily the case.

The AAP is encouraging pediatricians and parents to talk with their kids about online use.  Be aware of Facebook depression as well as sexting, cyberbullying and other online risks.  One of the best ways to monitor your child’s use? Be their friend on Facebook.

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