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By HERWriter
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Today’s teens are spending more and more of their spare time at the digital playground versus the outdoor playground. New research showed that 22 percent of today’s teens are online more than 10 times a day. Also, more than 75 percent of teens own cell phones and more than half of the teens surveyed log on to a social media site more than once a day. Social media sites, like Facebook, are the main way teens and tweens interact socially.

Medical experts are concerned about depression, cyber-bullying, sexting and inappropriate content in our digital age.

According to Dr. Gwenn O'Keeffe, a Boston-area pediatrician and lead author of new American Academy of Pediatrics social media guidelines, there are unique aspects of Facebook which may affect teens with poor self-esteem.

O’Keefe said, "Facebook can be more painful than sitting alone in a crowded cafeteria which can make kids feel down. Facebook provides a skewed view of what is really going on. Online, there’s no way to see facial expressions or read body language."

As teens hangout at Facebook, status updates, happy photos and friend tallies can make teens feel worse. These "happy updates" can make teens feel like they don’t measure up to their peers and trigger depression.

O’Keefe said there are also benefits to using social media sites. One of the benefits is connecting with family and friends exchanging ideas and sharing pictures.

Another medical expert, Dr. Megan Moreno of the University of Wisconsin and an adolescent medicine specialist has studied online social networking. In research among college students, Moreno said, "Using Facebook can enhance feelings of social connectedness among well-adjusted kids and have the opposite effect on those prone to depression."

The March 28, 2011 issue of Pediatrics recommended that parents and kids respect the age requirements of social media sites. This sends the message to kids of honesty and online safety.

In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidelines for pediatricians. AAP recommends the following:

• Parents need to educate themselves about the many technologies and websites being used by their teens.

• Develop an online-family use plan which involves regular family meetings to discuss online topics. Also, parents should check of privacy settings and online profiles for inappropriate posts.

• Parents should supervise online activities via active participation and communication versus remote monitoring with a net-nanny program.

Also, the AAP offers these sites to educate parents and teens about being responsible and respectful digital citizens. Those sites include:

Social Media and Sexting Tips from the AAP

The AAP Internet safety site

AAP public education site, Healthy Children.org


Add a Comment2 Comments

there is a lot of collection is avail on this site and keep sharing Cool Facebook Status
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January 23, 2012 - 12:20am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for posting this article,a lot of parents and all other computer users have been made wise and they would probably be looking for that very lovable basket ball we all cherished before the iPOD came into our lives.

March 30, 2011 - 1:05am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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