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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
    Slackr, 2 Feb 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Of course no one was ever depressed before all this new technology made it easier to talk about it (more?). 83 girls is hardly a huge study - but enough to scaremonger and demonise technology. I'll bet if we take away their communication devices we could solve it all!

    There are a multiplicity of factors involved in depression, onset, symptoms, behaviour adaption. Even the Prozac, the 'magic bullet', couldn't cure us (although it undoubtedly helped). About the only useful thing in this study is that the parents should be well placed to get the help for their teens that need it.

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