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Social Networks: A New Source of Psychological Stress or a Way to Enhance Self-esteem? Negative and Positive Implications in Bronchial Asthma


G D’Amato,1 L Cecchi,2 G Liccardi,1 F Pellegrino,3 M D’Amato,4 M Sofia4

1Division of Respiratory and Allergic Diseases, Department of Respiratory Diseases, High Speciality Hospital A.Cardarelli, Napoli, Italy
2Allergy and Clinical Immunology Section, Azienda Sanitaria di Prato, Prato, Italy
3Psychiatrist and Psychologist, Unit of Mental Health, Azienda Sanitaria di Salerno, Salerno, Italy
4First Division of Pneumology, High Speciality Hospital “V.Monaldi” and University “Federico II” Medical School, Napoli, Italy

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2012; Vol. 22(6): 402-405



The Internet and, in particular, social networks are an increasingly important part of daily life for both adolescents and adults who maintain a virtual relationship with others sharing interests and goals. Very often, they disclose more about themselves online than they do in person. However, cyberbullying and cyberostracism can be problematic for adolescents and sensitive individuals, who might be negatively affected by social networks. Some studies have shown an increased risk of depression, whereas others suggest beneficial effects through enhanced communication, social connection, and self-esteem.
Bronchial asthma is an increasingly frequent disease in the industrialized world, and psychological implications play a role in increasing or in reducing its severity.
One year after the case report of an asthma exacerbation that may have been triggered by Facebook, it seems reasonable to analyze the effects of social networks on bronchial asthma.

Key words: Cyberbullying and cyberostracism. Facebook depression. Facebook-induced asthma. Bronchial asthma. Airway hyperresponsiveness. Emotional stimuli in asthma. Psychogenic asthma. Psychological triggers of asthma. Social networks and psychophysical health. Social networks and enhanced self esteem. Stress and asthma. Social networks and asthma.