Friday Faves: An Antibullying App, How Sitting on the Couch Can Change Your Brain, and the Truth about Facebook!

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TGIF! The weekend is finally here and the Choices/TeenBeing team has rounded up our picks for this week’s web.

1. Does your community have a bullying problem? A thirteen year old has developed an app to  help you find out. Viraj Puri, a student who has developed a blog called Bullyvention, is now working with scientists to create a live map of bullies around the country. Puri says he hopes it will help “lawmakers to address this very important issue.”

2. This month, New York Magazine wrote a fascinating article on how adolescence may be more difficult for parents of teens than teens themselves. Although the article mentions some depressing facts such as declines in mental health once their first child entered adolescence and reported feelings of rejection and low self-worth, the end of the article was enlightening, as the main parent followed stated, “I just feel like having kids is the greatest thing I ever did.” Sounds like it’s all worth it.

3. This touching mini documentary follows 15-year-old Sarah around her rural Missouri home. She discusses the challenges of being pregnant and her hopes and dreams for the future. We hope this video can shed light on the real challenges of being pregnant, as opposed to glamorizing it like other media sources.

4. A new study has found that just as exercise changes the structures in our brain, too much sitting around changes it as well. After rats who were forced to sit all day were compared to rats who ran an average of three miles a day, scientists discovered that the neurons of inactive rats had been altered, potentially increasing blood pressure and leading to heart disease. Patrick Mueller, the doctor that supervised the study, said at upcoming presentations, he plans to show slides that say, “This is your brain. And this is your brain on the couch,” mimicking the anti-drug message so many of us heard during our teen years.

5. Facebook’s decline is much smaller than many believe, according to a recent study. Although it was conducted by a UK-based agency, the statistics are based on global numbers. It found that Facebook is used by almost half  of 16 to 19-year-olds monthly. Princeton researchers predict that because it spread so quickly, it will eventually die out as we become used to it.

Did we miss anything big from this week? Share your faves in the comments below.

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