Facebook depression: Do you think you suffer from it?
Facebook can be a popularity contest for teens seeking the most friend requests or tagged pictures. (Thierry Roge/Reuters)
A U.S. doctors' group says "Facebook depression" may affect troubled teens who obsess over their friends' posts on the social networking site.
Researchers disagree on whether it's simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online site.
But there are unique aspects of Facebook that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines.
With in-your-face friends tallies, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook pages can make some kids feel even worse if they think they don't measure up.
The guidelines urge pediatricians to encourage parents to talk with their kids about online use and to be aware of Facebook depression, cyberbullying, sexting and other online risks. They were published online Monday in Pediatrics.
With files from the Associated Press
Do you think you suffer from "Facebook depression"? Do you agree that parents should talk to their kids about online risks? Let us know in the comments below.
(This survey is not scientific. It is based on readers' responses.)
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