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Is 'Facebook Depression' Real?
By: Christine Geraci
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It appears a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin have settled a vicious rumor going around about a new "mental illness" brought on by social media use. 
 
"Facebook Depression" is a term the American Academy of Pediatrics coined in a study released last year in its journal. The Academy essentially warned that teenagers who extensively used Facebook and other forms of social media were more likely to suffer from the condition. The study contended that since it's so easy for people to show their best sides on social media, this would skew a particularly vulnerable teen's sense of reality and make that teen feel as if he or she was not good enough. 
 
And then there's this study. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin published it in the Journal of Adolescent Health. And basically, it holds up the proverbial dismissive hand to this whole "Facebook depression" business.
 
The idea that Facebook somehow breeds depression in teens cannot be substantiated, the research indicates. There is simply no significant correlation between social media use and levels of depression in teens.
 
Two studies. Two very different conclusions. Perhaps opinion, or a lack of understanding about how social media works, are to blame. What say you? Do you think extensive social media use affects teens' self esteem?


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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