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Facebook may lead to depression among teen girls

New Delhi, Wed, 28 Mar 2012 NI Wire

Facebook, the most popular social networking site at present has made the world concise but according to a psychologist, spending too much time on the social networking site can make teenage girls depressed.

In addition to that, the total number of friends in their friend list can also be a big risk factor for depression among them.

Dr Leonard Sax, author of Girls on the Edge, said the risk is more in case of girls because they generally post"good things and happy stuff".

"Girls post the happy things and they turn the camera on themselves so it's 'look here at what I'm doing,'" quoted him as saying.

"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,'" Dr Sax explained.

Dr Sax said teenage girls, unlike adults, struggled to understand that people were intentionally making themselves look good. They start to compare their lives with what they see on the computer screen.

"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," he said.

Dr Sax suggested that there should be a time limit of 20 to 30 minutes for parents to spend on the social networking sites and institute set times they would spend with their daughters.

"Parents need to know everything their children are doing on their laptop and they need to know that you know," he said.

"Say 'it's my job to know what you're doing because I need to be able to keep you safe'. If they want to say something private to a friend, go and speak to them," he suggested.

Dr Sax said parents will have to balance the situation of restrictions with positivity, such as setting aside quality time.

-with inputs from ANI

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