7.23 Facebook depression is among harms linked to social media sites, pediatricians guidelines warn, The Chicago Tribune, Mar. 28, 2011
New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise pediatricians to encourage parents to learn more about the online social media sites and interactive technology their children are using. According to the guideline, parents should encourage appropriate use of technology such as Facebook, MySpace, and texting; they should also monitor for potential problems like cyberbullying, sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content. The AAP guidelines warn of “Facebook depression,” depressive symptoms that may develop among at-risk pre-teens and teen users of the site. According to Gwenn O’Keeffe, lead author of the guidelines, the social aspects of Facebook may be hard to navigate for children with low self-esteem. Negative messages that kids post on each others’ Facebook pages can be a problem for at-risk kids; so can the photos and upbeat status updates of their peers, which can leave them feeling like they don’t measure up.
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