Increased use social media linked to symptoms of depression in teens

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CLEVELAND-- It's one more reason to make sure teens don't spend all their time glued to devices. A new study links increased use of social media and TV to symptoms of depression in teens.

The study of more than 3,800 adolescents published in JAMA Pediatrics analyzed the potential link between symptoms of depression in teens to video games, computers, television and social media. It found for every additional hour teens spent watching TV or on social media the severity of symptoms experienced increased.

"We know that social media and electronics in general have an effect on the life of our kids," said Dr. Tatiana Falcone, a psychiatrist at Cleveland Clinic Children's.

Falcone said it's important to remind children at a young age there is more to the world than what they experience on social media. She stressed parents and guardians play a critical role.

"Always be aware of what sites your kids are using," said Dr. Falcone. "How much are they using and who are their friends who they're connecting with."

Living in the moment is a philosophy embraced at Busy Bees Pottery and Arts Studio in Mentor. The manager spent much of Tuesday busy with clients and at a day camp filled with kids, none using tablets, phones or computers.

"I think it's a great option to break away from the screens even school now is all on screens," said store manager Bridget Hofer. "It's a constant struggle as a mom to try to get them to focus on other things other than their devices."

Parents say trying to pull kids away from their screens can be challenging.

"It is really hard to get kids these days to get off the phones," said parent Igor Soldo, while painting with his son.

The study linked high computer use to an increase in symptoms of depression in teens. However, there was no significant association found between depression and playing video games.

More on the study here

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