Increased social media use linked to depression-like symptoms in teens

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FILE - This Nov. 4, 2013, file photo, shows the icon for the Twitter app on an iPhone in San Jose, Calif. Some Twitter users had to do without early Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, after sporadic outages knocked the social media site offline in Europe. Reports of malfunctions began to appear in the U.S. as well, but it was unclear how widespread the outages were. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The more social media teenagers engage in, the more likely they are to develop depression-like symptoms, according to a new study.

Social media is a big part of a teenager’s life, but experts warn that too much of it may actually make them depressed. Depression and anxiety that are all experienced by teenagers are heightened through social media.

“I think parents should make sure that they’re constantly monitoring those social medias; constantly monitoring the Instagram, Facebook the Twitter,” said Lisa Moore, a school counselor for Pitt County Schools.

With prom and graduation just around the corner, there are more reasons to log on.

“Sometimes prom might be an event that kinda will add to it; will get those feelings that they’ve kinda put aside come back up during that time,” said Moore.

Posting prom pictures, how someone got asked and prom events, like before-or-after parties, contributes to feelings of social isolation for some.

“When people do post pictures of themselves, post pictures of their dresses, unfortunately, people will target that and try to find ways to put that person down,” added Moore.

However, social media can also help identify those who are suffering.

“I think social media has really put a whole new face on the awareness of suicide, bullying, depression. Because a lot of times, students will make comments on social media where they might not have necessarily made to their friends or elsewhere,” said Moore.

Therapists say parents should be on the lookout for certain signs and symptoms.

“Very drastic change in the behavior is a key component to paying attention to what happens or what’s going on with a particular individual, particularly teenagers,” said Psychotherapist Dr. Leon Johnson

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