Facebook Fanatics: A WAFF 48 News Special Report - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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Facebook Fanatics: A WAFF 48 News Special Report

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Facebook has more 800 million active users logging on every day. You can easily get hooked on "friending", "liking", or "poking" new or old acquaintances in this social networking phenomenon.

"I just check it on my phone whenever I am bored or looking for new updates I guess," said Nicole Furno.

Furno is a senior at Bob Jones High School in Madison. Like many teenagers these days, she and other students at the school all have the Facebook app on their phones, and admit they check it several times a day.

"We keep up with our friends, their statuses, what they are doing, what's going on. So I guess it keeps us in the 'now'," said junior Brianna Melendez.

However, staying in the "now" can be costly, particularly when it comes to their grades. One recent study found that students who checked Facebook once during a 15-minute study period had lower grades. Another study revealed Facebook users had grade point averages between a 3 and 3.5, while non-Facebook users were averaging between a 3.5 and a 4.0.

Other than falling grades, Trinity Counseling Center therapist David Stephens says there are other red flags parents should watch out for if they are wondering if their teen is logging on to Facebook a little too often.

"If you start noticing your child isn't getting enough sleep, that's a red flag. I'll have kids that will come in and they've been up half the night, talking with their friends on Facebook. They get a couple of hours of sleep and they try to get up the next morning and function in class, and that really doesn't work out well at all," said Stephens.

He also says watch out for an increase in anxiety or depression because some teens are bullied on the site.

While many of the teens at Bob Jones High School say they do check Facebook every day, they say they are not hooked on it. The teens we spoke with say they all have high grade point averages, and believe its all about knowing what is important and what is not.

"It's just about finding the appropriate times, you know. If it's something important, like you have a project due the next day, obviously, you need to be focused on the project. And so, Facebook is one of those things that can wait until after the important stuff is done," said senior Brigham Parker.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says the maximum use for computers, TV, and all electronic media is two hours a day.

Click here to read a recent study about Facebook and Teens.

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