According to Larry D. Rosen, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, the effects of social media are becoming more and more visible.
Some of their findings suggest that the more time spent on Facebook is related to a greater tendency toward narcissistic behaviors among teenagers. Also, it has been discovered that young adults that spend excessive amounts of time on Facebook show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies.
Additionally, studies have revealed that excessive daily use of social media can negatively affect the health of children, preteens and teenagers alike as they are more prone to anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders as well as more susceptible to future general health problems.
Furthermore, it is clear that school grades will suffer when spending too much time on Facebook as valuable study time is lost. “Studies found that middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades.”
Besides, some studies suggest that so-called teenage “hyper-social networkers” are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, drug use, fighting and promiscuity.
Consequently, Rosen claims that parents who secretly monitor their child’s social media usage are wasting their time. Instead he suggests that active, but overt, monitoring and open communication about appropriate usage is the key so that when questions or issues arise such as bullying, a child will feel comfortable communicating with their parents. This active role could prevent serious consequences such as depression, anxiety or even suicide. It is also important for parents to stay abreast with online trends and the latest technologies, websites and applications.
On the other hand, research has shown that, despite the numerous negative effects, Facebook can help young adults to express their virtual empathy and facilitate socialization among introverted teens. Also, “social networking can provide tools for teaching in compelling ways that engage young students.”
It seems, like most things in life, everything in moderation is best.
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