Too much Facebook time leads to depression in girls

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.
Written by Emil Protalinski, Contributor

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.

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