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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Facebook Depression Is Real

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 2:15 PM

click to enlarge Next up: An emoticon for Facebook depression
  • Next up: An emoticon for Facebook depression

Certainly, I'm not the only one who's gotten dumped repeatedly by someone on Facebook -- a former friend or lover? Maybe you, too, were never "accepted" by an esteemed colleague or classmate on Facebook. Or perhaps your friend request still sits in the queue, ignored.

And what about those pictures posted of parties you were never invited to, and the ski trip everyone else went on? This digital popularity contest has led to a new kind of overwhelming sadness: Facebook Depression.

The American Academy of Pediatrics  recently released a report that says teens who spend an obsessive amount of time on Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites are more likely to show signs of depression as they peruse the digital pages of other lives that seem more interesting, fun, and successful.

The reason for the digital blues is clear: "Acceptance by and contact with peers is an important element of adolescent life," the study shows.

"It's very easy to compare yourself to others when you just see what they show in their Facebook page which may or may not match reality," Dr. Ken Ensroth, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, says.

Doctors warn that, as with offline depression, Facebook depression is more than just the blues. Teens who suffer from F.D. are more likely to socially isolate themselves and engage in risky behavior, especially on the Internet, the report says.

"Adolescents who suffer from Facebook depression ... sometimes turn to risky Internet sites and blogs that may promote substance abuse, unsafe sexual practice, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors."

Facebook depression is not something to "Like."
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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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