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The term "Facebook depression" has been coined to explain the potentially negative impact of social media on young people. It describes the depressive symptoms which can occur when young people spend a great amount of time on social media.
It is estimated that in 2016 2.5 million UK children aged 13-17 used Facebook, one of many social media sites linked to the phenomenon. Moreover, despite rules banning under-13s from creating social media accounts, a report published by the London School of Economics suggested that 43 per cent of nine to 12 year olds have a social network account, with more and more children accessing social media with time.
Increasingly, evidence suggests that the use of social media by young people is having a negative effect on their mental health. A survey by Young Minds suggests that a greater number of young people view social media as having a negative impact on the way they feel about themselves than those who report positive impacts. The most commonly cited effect is depression, or depressive symptoms, with one study, which did not specifically look at young people, suggesting that greater social media use is linked to lower moment-to-moment happiness and life satisfaction.
Read the full article about social media depression in young people by Lucy Hocking at rand.org.