The depressing facts about Facebook

Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be great for teenagers' social lives, but a new report says there are risks involved with spending too much time on them.

Colin Perkins is a Lincoln High student and says he's always on Facebook.  “I check it everyday.  After school, before work, when I'm at work.  I'm always looking at my phone so I'm pretty addicted to it.”

The social networking site is becoming the average teenager's favorite past–time.  It's also created a whole new area of study for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

On a site that counts friends and displays the number on your profile page, where you can “like” pictures and status updates, Facebook can also be another way for teens to feel left out.  They also might feel rejected when they're de–friended or not accepted as a friend in the first place.

Dr. David Miers is a Counseling Manager at Bryan LGH and says, “If there's a teen that's already prone to depression, already prone to some of those things, cyberbullying and use of social media can worsen those things and make an individual more depressed and more anxious.”

The study makes sure to point out that social media isn't all bad.  Dr. Miers says connections are a crucial part of growing up and Facebooking can improve communication skills, but sometimes it helps teens connect a little too much. “you know everyone's life. You know everyone's business because everyone puts pretty much everything on there.” 

The study suggests parents talk about sites like Facebook with their kids and set limits on usage. You can learn more about this study and children and social media, visit www.aap.org