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The Doctors weigh in on a recent survey which assessed the psychological effects of social networks like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram and found that social media platforms affected sleep quality, bullying, body image and fear of missing out. Four of the platforms were found to lead to increases in depression and anxiety among those surveyed.
So what should parents look out for on their children's social media feeds? Psychiatrist Dr. Domenick Sportelli suggests watching for:
Filters: The use of excessive filters on photographs. He says using gray and blue filters could be a sign of depression.
Perfection Overload: The use of apps that alter images. Dr. Sportelli says using these apps could be a sign of someone trying to project an image of who they think someone else wants them to be. He says this could be a sign of a disconnect between who they really are and what they display online.
High-Risk Apps: Dr. Sportelli says that apps which are anonymous could be a sign of a higher risk of suicide, as kids can share anything online and people can respond in any way with no accountability.
Dr. Sportelli recommends speaking openly and honestly about these risks with your children and to monitor their online activity if they are under 18.