The Virtual Blues

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No one is completely safe from the virtual blues. Depression resulting from issues such as cyber bullying and "cyber envy" affect men and women of every age.

It’s a Privilege

Facebook, the world’s leading social networking site, has a purpose—to unite users through an online community. But are some users abusing their right to use Facebook and other social networking sites? Cyber bullying and cyber envy have become recognized issues in communities worldwide, and it’s time to address the issue.

It’s Everywhere

With their availability on many mobile devices, social networking sites allow users to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet. Some argue that because there is no direct communication, substituting a "cyber friendship" for an in-person one may in fact increase antisocial tendencies.

A Positive Spin

The 'Like' button is one of Facebook’s social plug-ins. It was launched in April 2010. Users simply click the button when they like a picture, video, status update, etc. This action may help to unite people with common interests and/or beliefs. Currently, there is no 'Dislike' button, which many have argued is probably a good thing.

Focus on Prevention

Perhaps it’s time to focus on prevention rather than the problem. Medical professionals who treat men and women suffering from depression insist that parents and teachers promote substituting time spent online for healthier habits, like reading or playing sports outdoors, to build teamwork and self-esteem.

For Fun and For Free

Sure, social networking sites are fun and free. But in order to ward off the negative emotional aspects, we all have a part to play in taking action to practice moderation and recognizing the signs of depression when they creep up in different forms, such as cyber envy. Go ahead and enjoy online communities, but just beware of the virtual blues.

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