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Warnings against social media

The American Academy of Pediatrics said parents should talk to their children about the emotional problems that can come with social-media use. In a report, the AAP advised doctors and parents to ask teens and tweens regular questions about it.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2011 01:52 IST

The American Academy of Pediatrics said parents should talk to their children about the emotional problems that can come with social-media use. In a report, the AAP advised doctors and parents to ask teens and tweens regular questions about it.

Concerns about sexting, cyber-bullying and “Facebook depression” — which the report defines as “depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social-media sites such as Facebook” — are on the rise as adults face the challenges of bringing up children in an increasingly connected world.

Teens who use Facebook may feel pressured to be popular online as well as at school. Those already at risk for depression may feel they don't measure up to the happy images and posts that dominate social-media sites. Cyber-bullying may further aggravate these feelings. Facebook recently put anti-bullying measures in place on its site to allow users to report the bullying to people they trust.

Gwenn O’Keeffe, a Boston area pediatrician and lead author of the AAP’s new social-media guidelines, said parents and doctors are behind the curve when it comes to teaching kids how to use these sites. She told Time that this generation “emerged online before we taught them the dangers of being online”.

According to the Pew Research Center, 73 percent of teenagers use social-media sites.

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