Teens and Facebook: Positive and Negative Effects

Teens and Facebook: Positive and Negative Effects

Facebook and other social networking sites can have harmful effects on teens according to a recent study.

Harmful Effects of Facebook on Teens

Dr. Larry Rosen, a Psychology professor at California State University, outlined his findings before the American Psychological Association over the weekend.

“While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives,” said Rosen.

Here are negative effects of Facebook on kids according to Rosen:

1. Teens who are heavy gamers or Facebook users have more trouble sleeping, higher levels of anxiety, depression, and stomach aches.

2. Young adults and teens who spend their days inside Facebook are more narcissistic and show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania, and aggressive tendencies.

3. Students who use more technology are likely to miss more school.

4. The more teens and adults use Facebook, the more likely they are to also use alcohol.

5. Students from junior high through college age were observed to generally check social networks or text messages every few minutes while studying, leading to lower test performance than students who focus for longer periods of time.

6. The average teen sends 2000 texts per month, which can lead to problems communicating with family and even carpal tunnel syndrome in a few cases.
Rosen also laid out the following positive influences linked to social networking:

1. Young adults who spend more time on Facebook are better at showing “virtual empathy” to their online friends.

2. Online social networking can help introverted adolescents learn how to socialize behind the safety of various screens, ranging from a two-inch smartphone to a 17-inch laptop.

3. Social networking can provide tools for teaching in compelling ways that engage young students.
“If you feel that you have to use some sort of computer program to surreptitiously monitor your child's social networking, you are wasting your time. Your child will find a workaround in a matter of minutes,” he said. “You have to start talking about appropriate technology use early and often and build trust, so that when there is a problem, whether it is being bullied or seeing a disturbing image, your child will talk to you about it.” Rosen advises parents.
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