Social Media Savvy Teens Could Suffer "Facebook Depression"

A new clinical report suggests there are benefits to social media, but also dangers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After school at Broward's South West Regional Library, the teen computer area is packed with kids logged in to Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. 

    While 14-year-old Michael Lopez says, "this is the first time I'm going on in three months," 15-year-old Tor McNealy says she usually uses her phone to access Facebook.

    "I have an app on my phone and I use it a lot, like very five minutes," McNealy said.  

    A recent poll finds 22 percent of teens log onto their favorite social media sites more than 10 times a day. More than half log in at least once daily. 

    Seventeen-year-old Nathanielle says the pros of social media outweigh the cons.

    "It benefits us because we can socialize. Most people that are shy, they use the social networks for that. But at the same time, it can be a distraction."  

    A new clinical report in the Journal of Pediatrics finds there are benefits in communication, and enhancing learning opportunities. But a phenomenon knows as "Facebook Depression" is one of the concerns. It can develop after teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, putting them at risk for social isolation, then they might seek help from risky sites or blogs.

    There's also the issue of sexting, which they talked to Miami-Dade public school students about in a Cyber Bullying seminar earlier this school year. Because teens are spending so much time social networking on their computers and phones, pediatricians are being urged to encourage families to discuss it.

    For social media and sexting information, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website.


    Follow Diana Gonzalez on Twitter at @nbcmiamihealth.