The study comes from a presentation given at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association which states that while social media has its benefits, teenagers who regularly uses these social networking sites end up with plenty of negative habits, tendencies and characteristics.
The presentation was titled Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids and was given by Dr. Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology at California State University.
The most significant negative effects that were highlighted were the development of narcissism, presence of other disorders like having antisocial behaviors and aggressive tendencies, increased absence from academic institutions due the increased likelihood of developing stomach aches, sleeping problems, anxiety and depression. This, of course, was for those teens who use Facebook very frequently.
The study also suggests that these overdosing teens, some of whom check Facebook after every 15 minutes or so, net lower grades from middle/high school and have overall lower retention.
Fortunately, the presentation also highlighted some of the more positive effects of being a regular on Facebook. Positive effects such showing increased empathy for their online friends, helping introverted teens socialize and lastly, provide tools for teaching in compelling ways to engage students.
Parents are suggested to actually communicate with their children over this seemingly serious matter as having anxiety attacks and depression at the age of 14-15 isn’t, well, cool. Using software to monitor or block children’s use of networking sites isn’t recommended either, as finding loopholes is quite easy for the computer-literate teenagers of today.
Our personal view regarding Facebook is that, while it is an excellent tool for socializing and keeping up with friends, it can have very, very significant adverse effects. The biggest problem with using these sites is how big a time-suck they can be. If you do not control or manage your time online, you will end up wasting hours upon hours of time which can be spent better elsewhere.
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