Stirring up Facebook Fear
On the heels of Friday’s MindShift article, Pitfalls and Promises of Social Media and Kids, in which I enumerate the subtleties of parents navigating social media with their kids, comes this new report, released today by the American Academy of Pediatricians: The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.
The main news outlets focus in on the fear factor — as usual:
- From CBS: “Facebook depression” seen as new risk for teens.
- From MSNBC: Docs warn about teens and Facebook depression.
- From FoxNews: Can Facebook depression affect you?
I’ll be looking closely at the full document and report back, but in the meantime, I want to highlight this quote from an AP article, which is found at the very end, many paragraphs after the opening sentence about “Facebook depression.”
The benefits of kids using social media sites like Facebook shouldn’t be overlooked, however, such as connecting with friends and family, sharing pictures and exchanging ideas.
“A lot of what’s happening is actually very healthy, but it can go too far,” she said.
Dr. Megan Moreno, a University of Wisconsin adolescent medicine specialist who has studied online social networking among college students, said using Facebook can enhance feelings of social connectedness among well-adjusted kids, and have the opposite effect on those prone to depression.
Parents shouldn’t get the idea that using Facebook “is going to somehow infect their kids with depression,” she said.