Too much Facebook time leads to depression in girls

Too much Facebook time leads to depression in girls

Summary: The more time girls spend on Facebook, and the more Facebook friends they have, the more likely they are to get depressed, according to U.S. psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax.


U.S. psychologist Dr. Leonard Sax believes teenage girls who spend too much time on Facebook are more likely to be depressed. Furthermore, the total number of Facebook friends they have can also be a big risk factor for depression. Dr. Sax believes this particular risk is greater with girls than boys.

"Girls post the happy things and they turn the camera on themselves so it's 'look here at what I'm doing,'" Dr. Sax told AdelaideNow. "Then they look at all the other girls' Facebook pages, look at them being happy and think 'my life sucks, look at all the things those girls are doing and how much fun they're having.' The problem is she is spending all this time on her presence on Facebook and not nurturing strong friendships because Facebook prioritises acquaintances. Many girls now say they don't have one or two best friends, they have 12, 15, 20. They are losing the skills to nurture close friendships."

Dr. Sax argues that teenage girls struggle to understand that people intentionally make themselves look good on social networks like Facebook. As such, they end up comparing their lives with what they see online rather than what is happening offline.

So, what's the solution? Dr. Sax suggests parents should limit how long their daughters spend on Facebook to 20 or 30 minutes. He argues parents should be aware of all the things their children do online and that children should be aware why their parents need to know everything.

Call me crazy, but I don't think Dr. Sax's solution is going to work.

See also:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • Causation vs. Correlation

    I could just as easily posit that girls who tend to depress easily gravitate toward Facebook and having a large numbers of friends in an attempt to avoid depression.
  • I think we get

    Facebookers are pathetic, next...
    Richard Flude
  • Study or opinion?

    Did the good doctor do an actual study, or does he just have an untested theory and opinion? Remember the hysteria on Fox News when some woman painted her son's toes pink in a catalog? Their doctors were talking about the kid needing therapy for a long time based on an untested theory and opinion.
    • Sounds like the invention of graham cracker...

      was supposed to suppress "unhealthy carnal urges"....

      This one does sound more like a opinion than a study, which require actually peer review. Maybe the title should really be "Psychologist suggest too much Facebook time leads to depression in girls"
  • Plagiarize much?

    Except for the last line, this entire article was taken almost word for word from the AdelaideNow article.
    Pressed for time?
  • The cure for facebook stupidity and depression.....

    Turn the PC off, go buy a few pencils, a sharpener, an eraser and a big drawing book and a note book.....

    Then create what ever you want, then make it.

    Or you can sit there pining over your 10,000 imaginary lick and stick friends, and bemoan the fact that your not the most popular girl because other girls have even more lick and stick imaginary friends than you.
    Wroger Wroger