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A new set of guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that the often skewed realities paraded on social networking sites can lead to what doctors are calling "Facebook depression."
Just when you thought it was safe to turn on the computer comes a potentially serious side effect from the world's favorite online pastime. According to a Los Angeles Times article, information shared on Facebook can provide an unusually harsh social landscape for kids living with low self-esteem. The article suggests that "in-your-face friends tallies, status updates, and photos of happy-looking people having great times" can be more isolating for kids than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria.
While researchers disagree as to whether FD is an extension of already existing depression experienced by some kids or an isolated condition stemming directly from Facebook usage, the new guidelines encourage pediatricians to suggest that parents take an active role in their kids' online use and make them aware of potential dangers like cyberbullying, sexting, and Facebook depression.
Read the full article here.