Number of Friends on Facebook Linked to Increased Stress Hormone in Kids
A new study finds that more than 300 friends on Facebook increase cortisol levels in kids.
Cortisol is the stress hormone. Cortisol plays many roles in the body. It helps the body with regard to metabolism including the use of glucose and fat for energy. It also helps the body manage stress. Cortisol levels can be altered by many conditions, such as emotional or physical stress, injury, activity and infection.
Did you ever think that the number of friends your child has on Facebook may have an impact on cortisol levels and potentially your child’s health? “We were able to show that beyond 300 Facebook friends, adolescents showed higher cortisol levels; we can therefore imagine that those who have 1,000 or 2,000 friends on Facebook may be subjected to even greater stress.”
Here’s what you need to know about increased cortisol levels and how it may have an impact on your child’s health, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“The body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.
But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.
The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
• Digestive problems
• Heart disease
• Sleep problems
• Weight gain
• Memory and concentration impairment”
How many friends does your child have on Facebook? Maybe it’s time to find out. Does your child really need any additional stress in their life? Surely not.
In addition, as a parent it’s a good idea to know who your child’s friends are anyway for online safety reasons. If they don’t know them in the real world then they shouldn’t be friending them online. After all, online predators, trolls, cybercriminals maybe among their so called friends. It’s easy for someone to pretend to be someone they’re not on social media.