Social networking sites pose both risks and benefits to children as their studies get affected but at the same time the introverts learn how to socialise behind the safety of various screens, according to a study.
“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,” Professor of psychology at California State University Larry D Rosen said at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.
In a plenary talk entitled, ‘Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids’, Rosen discussed potential adverse effects, including: 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 behaviours, 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.
Rosen said new research has also found positive influences linked to social networking, including: 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 socialise 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.
However, the researchers say parents should not secretly monitor their child’s online activity.
“If you feel that you have to use some sort of computer programme to surreptitiously monitor your child’s social networking, you are wasting your time. Your child will find a workaround in a matter of minutes,” Rosen said.
“Communication is the crux of parenting, you need to talk to your kids, or rather, listen to them,” he said.