Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Facebook Depression ?

Jimi Hendrix recorded a song back in nineteen sixty something or other called "Manic -Depression" It's one of my favorites by Hendrix..(Yes,I'm a Hendrix head...He died when I was twelve, but I still love his music.) Anyway, this is not about Jimi Hendrix or Manic Depression...This is about a sign of the times..."Facebook Depression" or as it is correctly called.."Social Networking Anxiety." Can you believe that?

We really are becoming a weak ,spoiled nation of whiners aren't we? From what I can asertain from my recent reading..We can now Add "Facebook depression" to potential harms linked with social media and networking, an influential doctors' group warns, referring to a condition it says may affect troubled teens who obsess over the online site.I read this and I wonder is it really just troubled teens? It seems like more adults are on Facebook ,Twitter, Myspace and the like than ever before... Poor kids...you can't have anything for yourselves anymore, can you?

Researchers disagree on whether it's simply an extension of depression some kids feel in other circumstances, or a distinct condition linked with using the online sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Supposedly there are unique aspects of Facebook and Twitter and other social networking sites like them that can make it a particularly tough social landscape to navigate for kids already dealing with poor self-esteem, said Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social
media guideline. Wow! They're writing books about something I was just doing for fun.

With in-your-face friends' tweets, status updates and photos of happy-looking people having great times, Facebook and Twitter pages can make some people feel even worse if they think they don't measure up.

It can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded school cafeteria or other real-life encounters that can make kids feel down, O'Keeffe said, because Facebook and in some aspects, Twitter provides a skewed view of what's really going on. Online, there's no way to see facial expressions or read body language that provide context.

The guidelines urge pediatricians to encourage parents to talk with their kids about online use and to be aware of Social Networking anxiety, cyberbullying, sexting and other online risks. These guidelines were published online yesterday in Pediatrics.

I believe it was last year that I wrote a post about cyber bullying. Not trying to give myself a free plug (yet again) ,but hey...I did! My wife, who like myself is a Facebook and Twitter user (as well as a blogger) has often said that the social networking phenom "is like a big popularity contest —a contest to see who can get the most friend requests or get the most pictures tagged," she said. It can be...

Also, it's common among some teens( and silly childlike adults, old enough to know better) to post snotty or judgmental messages on the Facebook walls of people they don't like. ( Yet "friend" anyway...which has me scratching my head.)

The academy guidelines note that online harassment "can cause profound psychosocial outcomes," including suicide. The widely publicized suicide of a 15-year-old Massachusetts girl last year occurred after she'd been bullied and harassed, in person and on Facebook.

I'm not really directing this post at teenagers....Remember...this was their thing at first....I'm disgusted with some adults on the networks who seem to have regressed since they got on the networks. Teenagers and children can tend to be mean as anyone who has ever endured four years of High school probably knows...but by the time you are over 25 , you should be beyond that type of behavior.

If I see one more 30 plus years adult post something about how many "haters" they have, I think I will deactivate all of my accounts. On the real though,these social networks are great ways to reconnect with family, old friends, fraternity or sorority buddies, old schoolmates et al. They are great marketing tools also as well as a great way to meet new people..(For those who aren't too paranoid or full of themselves or both!)

This is the new hangout now...If Facebook and Twitter served drinks..it would be the equivalent of the corner bar...These social networks can enhance feelings of social connectedness among well-adjusted kids, and have the opposite effect on those prone to depression.

People shouldn't get the idea that using Facebook or Twitter "is going to somehow infect you with depression. It all depends on you and who you choose to "follow" or "friend"


Sean said...

The new hangout? Very interesting way of putting the whole social networking thing!

James Perkins said...

From your past writings, I since ambivalence on your part Keith.
Part of you likes it...because you said that you were on both Facebook and Twitter...and yet part of you hates it...You have also claimed that it is killing blogging, which we all know that you love.

Sunflower said...

You bring up very interesting and valid points here and like the previous commenter, I too sense some ambivalence on your part...

Good Post just the same!


"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"

Click on image to enlarge for reading

Click on image to enlarge for reading

Click on image to enlarge for reading