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The Good and Bad of Social Networking

August 10, 2011

A recent study on the effects of social networking on young people is getting a lot of press. 

Some of the highlights listed by this APA article include: 

  • “Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies.
  • Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems. 
  • Facebook can be distracting and can negatively impact learning. 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.
  • Young adults who spend more time on Facebook are better at showing “virtual empathy” to their online friends.
  • 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.
  • Social networking can provide tools for teaching in compelling ways that engage young students.”

Here are some other news articles on the topic: CBS News, Seattle PI,  MSNBC

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