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Facebook Being Blamed For Spike In Teen Depression

By Kimberly Davidow
Published On: Aug 18 2011 10:43:17 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 28 2011 05:55:45 AM CDT

With more than 500 million members, Facebook is one of the most popular way friends stay in touch.

But is staying connected all the time a good idea? A new report is blaming Facebook for a spike in teen depression.

Facebook has become the social media norm in staying connected with friends, family, and colleagues.

According to new research from the American Academy of Pediatrics, teenagers who feel like their Facebook page isn't popular enough can develop low self-esteem.

Sophomore Karina Grossman from Albright College said Monday that people take Facebook to the extremes.

"Face to face confrontation isn't comfortable for most people, but people do feel empowered by their keyboard sometimes," said Grossman.

Douglas Berne, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, told 69 News that for those who already feel down on themselves, it could trigger depression.

"When you compare yourself with your peers and you think everyone is out there having a good time, how come I'm not, you start to get more depressed," said Berne.

Berne also said Facebook lacks intimate one-on-one interaction. And with the click of a mouse, anyone can "accept" people as there friend.

"The problem with Facebook and other social media, the idea of what a friend is," said Berne. "It's somebody whose name I know and they're now following me and I'll follow them."

Albright College students Jesse Grieb and Karina Grossman said they use Facebook as a way to stay connected with other friends from different college and universities. They said some take Facebook too seriously.

"There would be people who had like 1,000 friends and didn't know 950 of them, so it's like almost like a contest," said Grieb.

"There's the whole Facebook official, you're not really in a relationship with someone unless Facebook says so and that's kinda sad," said Grossman.

Officials said some Facebook users may feel they do not care about what their peers write on their Facebook page.

Their remarks and comments on someone's page, however, can lead that person to become obsessed with how they appear to others.