Facebook…the granddaddy of all social media has been accused of many things. It may cause narcissistic behavior, it thwarts healthy relationships, it lowers self-esteem and it even might cause you to be more depressed.
As we previously reported, too much Internet may cause kids to get depressed and lead to Internet addiction. But now a new paper by Dr. Larry D. Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University states that teens who are constant Facebook users “ show more aggression, mania, anxiety and depression” and that these issues get worse with age.
Facebook depression is real and could be a clinical term someday according to an American Academy of Pediatric clinical report. As the report explains, “Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” deﬁned as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.” The quest to be cool extends far beyond who sits where at the cafeteria table.
The clinical report suggests it is now the role of the doctors to help parents and teens. “Pediatricians are in a unique position to educate families about both the complexities of the digital world and the challenging social and health issues that online youth experience by encouraging families to face the core issues of bullying, popularity and status, depression and social anxiety, risk-taking and sexual development.”
So what to do about your teen at home? Don’t try and “friend” them to find out what they’re doing, or invest in some tracking software. Your child will most likely just outsmart you. The most important thing is just talking to your child; make sure to keep very open lines of communication. Have frequent family dinners and engage them in activities they like to do, such as playing video games.