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Study: Too Much Social Networking May Leave Teens Depressed

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(credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Facebook, MySpace and Twitter — most of us are on at least one. In fact, social networking has become such a part of our lives that there was even a movie made about it.  New studies suggest that sites that are supposed to keep you connected, can actually leave you feeling depressed.

Feeling bad when you see people with things you don’t have is called “social comparison.” Joanne Davila, a Stony Brook University psychology professor, has studied it in teens.  Davila says younger people seem to be the most at risk along with people who dwell on things.

The key to staying happy is learning not to compare yourself at all. Researchers say don’t believe everything you read because it’s not always the whole truth. Many of the ex-girlfriend or boyfriend’s bad photos aren’t making it online, nor is the news about the promotion they didn’t get.

“Step away from the interactions and get some perspective on them,” Dr. Davila advises her students.  She tells parents to talk with their children about social networking sites and explain that face to face interactions are far more important and meaningful.

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