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Technology Leads to Anxiety and Depression, Studies Show

Teenage girls might want to look into Barack Obama's philosophy of "no drama" -- and they can start by easing up a bit on that Facebook addiction, for one.

Researchers at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York have concluded that teenage girls who spend lots of time with their friends talking about their problems (via instant messaging, e-mail, texting, and social networking sites), are more prone to anxiety and depression than girls who do not. In their study of 83 13-year-old girls, researchers noticed that the girls became more depressed when they constantly rehashed negative emotional experiences over and over.

In other news of the depressive variety, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have linked depression symptoms in teens to exposure to electronic media; in their study of 4,142 adolescents over a seven-year period, it was found that "participants had significantly greater odds of developing depression ... for each hour of daily television viewed." Interestingly, men were more prone to this sort of depression than women.

Of course, computers are not to blame for such problems. It's all pretty common sense stuff: The more time you spend stressing about the things you can't control, the more anxious you're going to be. And the reality is that having all of our friends and 500 television channels available at the push of a button any given moment makes that easier than it has ever been.

Now, back to surfing the Web, blogging, watching Oprah, listening to NPR, and chatting with 15 friends across three different services simultaneously. [From: Geeksugar and Walletpop]

Losing Face on Facebook

    Facebook is going to rewrite the book on standard office excuses, at least for its shortsighted users. Kevin Colvin, an intern at Anglo Irish bank, thought that had an ironclad story when he asked off to attend to a "family emergency." When his boss was alerted to this fresh picture posted to his Facebook profile during his absence, that story lost just a tad of its believability -- unless he was curing Aunt Hattie with his magical powers and a potent hoppy elixir. We're sure that posting the picture seemed like a good idea at the time, Kevin, but you were sadly mistaken. Same goes for that costume.

    Students at Glen Ridge High School in New Jersey were shocked and confused when the news trucks rolled up to get the scoop on a set of Facebook photos. Obtained by a nosy parent, the pictures featured underage drinking that led to the suspension of school athletes. Many saw the role of the photos in the punishments as legally questionable, but despite organized protests and other umbrage, many students opted to just take their own racy Facebook pictures down as soon as possible. Live and learn, everyone -- just don't post visual evidence of it happening on your profile.

    Even the charmed lives of beauty queens can be dragged through the mud by Facebook photos taken far away from the pageant stage. Miss New Jersey Amy Polumbo discovered this firsthand over the summer when she was the target of a strange "blackmail plot" centered on profile images of her partying and carrying on in a less than royal fashion. She ended up releasing the photos herself, and soon everyone was wondering what the fuss was all about -- from venture capitalists to gossip reporters, Facebook has a tendency to get people riled up.

    Thinking about shoplifting some clothing? Here's a tip -- think twice before posting pictures of yourself modeling the hot merchandise on Facebook. Two students at Radford University in Virginia learned this lesson the hard way when a store owner was tipped off and found the incriminating images on Facebook. A stroke of the 'print' button, a trip to the police office, and the bust was complete.

    This story -- women who show little discretion in their alcohol consumption and even less when documenting their misadventures on their profiles -- seems to have started the most recent wave of Facebook embarrassments. While it's difficult for many to understand the personal pride and motivation behind such excess, it's even more mind-boggling to know that these exploits are being glorified online for all to see. Mom must be proud, and potential employers are surely beating down the doors.

Tags: depression, research, study