Youths who spend a lot of time on social media sites are at risk of "Facebook depression," a group of doctors say.
Though the symptoms and the resulting harmful behavior may be similar to "offline depression," the American Academy of Pediatrics has proposed Facebook depression as a new phenomenon.
The AAP issued a new clinical report, “The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families,” published online on Monday, detailing both the negative and positive effects of social media use on youth and families.
The report points out that the number of preadolescents and adolescents using such sites as Facebook and MySpace has increased dramatically during the last five years.
Facebook currently has more than 500 million active users. According to ComScore, a firm that measures Internet traffic, the share of visitors to Facebook under 18 years of age increased over the past year to 11.1 percent.
A 2009 Common Sense Media poll revealed that 22 percent of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day.
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