Experts: Facebook good, also bad, can foster “Facebook depression”

A new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics examines the psychological effects of Facebook on teens prone to depression, and the mixed findings report slight dangers for certain kids.

Researchers admit that the kids who seem to be negatively affected by using the social network are already prone to the types of feelings examined in the study- so it’s not like Facebook inspires depression in children who might not otherwise experience the condition. But kids with depressive tendencies can suffer from a skewed perception of themselves when confronted with what appears to be a long list of achievements on the part of their peers:

The NYDN quoted one kid about Facebook-related inferiority complexes:

“If you really didn’t have that many friends and weren’t really doing much with your life, and saw other peoples’ status updates and pictures and what they were doing with friends, I could see how that would make them upset,” Abolt told The Associated Press. “It’s like a big popularity contest – who can get the most friend requests or get the most pictures tagged.”

If the study’s findings hold true, perhaps the kids should spend more time looking at their own Facebook profiles.

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