Depression not linked with using Facebook

There is no connection between depression and social network sites, new research has suggested. Published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, the study refuted any association between the condition and the amount of time spent on portals such as Facebook.

Investigators from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health noted parents should not be overly alarmed if they deem their child's use of such sites excessive.

Researcher Lauren Jelenchick noted the findings are the first to present scientific evidence on the supposed link, adding no significant connections between social media use and depression were discovered.

Dr Megan Moreno advised mothers and fathers to consider the social media use of their kids in the context of their general lives, observing: "While the amount of time on Facebook is not associated with depression, we encourage parents to be active role models and teachers on safe and balanced media use."

Dr Jane McCartney, Chartered Psychologist, comments:

"Although this recent research has found no formal co-relation between depression and social networking use. There is of course much anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is in fact a link between some people's social networking and depressive symptoms in as much as they exhibit classic depressive symptomatology if they are kept from or are limited in their use, this might be irritability, anger or even tearfulness.

"People need to be their own monitor in these situation, if they think about, if they are indeed displaying certain uncharacteristic behaviours all of the factors which may be contributing and maintaining that depressive state of mind including the quality and amount of time they are spending social networking."