Conrod says she is concerned that the filtered lives of others that many young people see while scrolling on their phones could influence how they critically examine information.
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Marcelle Hutchins produced and edited this interview for broadcast with Kathleen McKenna. Serena McMahon adapted it for the web.
Skip to main content. Close close Donate. In his practice, Fletcher has observed a trend—children and teens experiencing sleep deprivation because they use their phone or computer at all hours. Moreno cautions, though, not to view these potentially negative aspects as a direct causative relationship between Facebook and other social media and depression.
Is social media damaging your mental health?
Other evidence, including her own research, suggests Facebook can actually help identify those at risk for depression. Previous research has found that people may be more likely to open up or report feelings online vs. Fletcher agrees, adding that while Facebook and other social media can amplify bullying, it can also increase the likelihood that a troubled child or teen will receive much-needed help from friends and family.
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Students were more likely to reference depression on their Facebook profiles if they averaged at least one comment from their friends on status postings that disclosed symptoms related to depression. She and her colleagues have suggested that social networking sites could be an innovative method for addressing the stigma currently associated with mental health conditions or for mental health professionals to identify children and teens at risk of depression.
Is ‘Facebook Depression’ For Real?
Opportunity for Discussion From a social work perspective, the ongoing debate about the pros and cons of Facebook and its potential influence on depressive thoughts in children and teens gives social workers another venue for approaching clients and families about mental health. Fletcher believes social workers are more aware of the impact of social media on their young clients and should ask questions related to their Internet activities.
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Social Media and Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Mental Health
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