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Too Much Facebook Makes Girls Depressed... Or Depressed Girls Use Facebook?

from the cause?-effect? dept

And here's another bit of a moral panic-inducing study about social networking -- with a professor at Stony Brook University suggesting that girls who do more regular communicating via Facebook, SMS, email and other tools, are more likely to be depressed. The study's authors suggest that girls get stuck in a rut communicating about their problems, reinforcing those problems and depressing the kids. The more they discussed their romantic ups and downs, the more likely they were to be depressed.

Of course, aren't there questions about cause and effect here? Wouldn't a more reasonable explanation be that those who were already more depressed are more likely to make use of these tools to wallow in their depression?

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  1. identicon
    Cindy, 4 Feb 2009 @ 11:22am

    Facebook and depression

    The point everyone seems to be overlooking is that historically when girls were depressed they talked to other girlfriends on the phone, or they reached out to their siblings or parents. These parties typically were not in the same depressed state and were able to provide the voice of reason. A normal friend can offer comfort, they can point out your good points and help you heal. However when writing about it often on Face book, only those also suffering reply and the logic process becomes very distorted in these dialogues as the voice of reason has now been replaced by someone wallowing in their own pain. Thus sending the recipient further into depression. Misery loves company and on such a format, Face book, becomes a real tool to allow your emotions to run unchecked by rational peers or caregivers.

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