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
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Feb 2009 @ 1:52am

    The problems are there... pointing out problems create a state of attitude reinforcement, but not depression; Two depressed girls who hate the world together can become friends (friends who share similar world view), but one girl that nobody listens to is more likely to be depressed; we often blame media and tools for our psychological problems, we have a huge ping-pong, do or don't game (talk to others about it-don't talk about it), but the truth is that the things depress the vast majority of us, boy or girl, adult or not, are more simple than a mind trick... and harder to change. This issues will not change with merely not being on Facebook; Do I feel like in the center of a very unfair or painful world? Do I feel like any close day will be the day of my complete humiliation or physical pain? (After all we will die...); Do I feel ugly or incapable? (and often I am ugly and incapable for an intended goal); Trying to change goals to a be more realistic is a reasonable strategy, but for some (say half of us) is not enough simply because we were raised with ideas that have been coined as "truth", and we embrace these ideas so much they affect our pleasure pathways... if we lower our expectations so much, we become "not truth" and we have learned privileges and satisfaction (and peace of mind and control)come only with being "true to oneself"- some doctors ask us to cheat... For example, one may believe that he/she will be a professional doctor, but do so after thinking what professional is regarded as valued and economically enabling to see the beautiful world with his mate... but say this person comes from a family that loved this person but never specifically motivated any member in health sciences (perhaps because they themselves doesn't know how to), but they said "you have to go to college, and earn a living.It is very important to work hard"- Although beautiful, is not enough because along the ride this person will then need to make sacrifices for which no one has ever prepared him/her! Then the person tries what she/he thinks is "hard"... imagine that's not enough to get to med school or to do well on it... depression is likely to follow- based on one simple thing... incapacity of us to really guide ourselves for the pat of "true happiness" (The incapacity may some times be in our definition of "true happiness", but don't get me wrong... what if there is a "true path"? I don't think- and I know this we become apparent easily- that "any path will do" because in the end our needs will cry out... in the end our more reasonable solution is to understand what things are really important in life and HOW TO OBTAIN THEM, DEFINING THE LIFESTYLE TO OBTAIN THEM WITH THE MOTIVATION TO OBTAIN THEM- BUT: WHO WILL DECIDE WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR EACH PERSON AND TEACH THAT PERSON THE WAY? THAT"S A REAL TOUGH ONE... FACEBOOK IS NOTHING COMPARE TO THAT ISSUE... THE REAL ONE

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