Facebook doesn't just alter the way you communicate, but it may be changing who you are entirely. The impact of continuous Facebooking is harming the lives of teens, a set of new studies revealed.
The adverse effects of Facebook was discussed at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association on Saturday, when Larry D. Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, made a presentation titled "Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids."
Rosen's findings point out that the overdose of Facebook could result in psychological disorders and narcissism in teens, leading to health complications and behavioral problems.
The study was based on a number of computer-based surveys distributed to 1,000 urban adolescents and his 15-minute observations of 300 teens in the act of studying, reported Mashable.
Among the negative effects of Facebook overuse, according to Science Daily, are:
- 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 negatively impact learning by distracting students. Middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades.
According to a Mashable article about Facebook obsession, it is estimated that the social media giant has 500,000,000 active users as of 2011. That's around one in every thirteen people in the entire world, and half of them are logged in on any given day, the report suggested.
Whether young or old, the more heavily users spend time on Facebook, the more likely they would develop other problems, including antisocial personality disorder, paranoia, anxiety and alcohol use, Rosen said.
On the other hand, positive influences of social networking do exist, according to Rosen's research.
Young people could develop virtual empathy to their online friends, and shy teens could learn how to socialize online.
Considering both the help and harm of internet and Facebook in particular, Rosen offered guidance for parents,
"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 encouraged parents to communicate with their children about proper usage of technology and build trust within the family, so the children will speak up when problems arise, whether it is being bullied or seeing a disturbing image.
"Communication is the crux of parenting. You need to talk to your kids, or rather, listen to them," Rosen said. "The ratio of parent listen to parent talk should be at least five-to-one. Talk one minute and listen for five."