Facebook & Social Networking Influences on Children
In a talk called “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids,” Larry D. Rosen PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominquez Hills, discussed the negative effects social media (e.g. Facebook) has had on children. Rosen conducted a study to determine how overuse of Facebook can lead to the development of psychological disorders in teens. The study was based on a sample size of 1,000 urban adolescents.
Negative points of note:
- Teens who use Facebook show more narcissistic tendencies.
- Young adults who use Facebook show more psychological issues such as mania, anti-social behavior and aggression.
- Children who overuse media and technology (ex. Facebook, Video Games, TV) tends to show negative effects on health. They are more prone to depression, anxiety, and other psychological problems.
- Middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook frequently received lower grades as Facebook served as a distraction from studies.
Note all research was negative. Below are some positive influences of social networking.
Positive points of note:
- Adolescents learn how to socialize
- Young adults who use Facebook are better at showing “virtual empathy”.
Are these really “Positive” Facebook Influences?
I am not sure whether these “positives” are much of a positive at all. It is good to learn “virtual empathy” but in the long run, time is better spend for a child or an adult to learn REAL LIFE empathy. The practice of interacting and socializing in real life context may cause some awkwardness and anxiety, but it is important for children and adults alike to practice so we can become fully functioning contributors to society, our friends, and our families. I do agree that social network does have incremental opportunities to interact and socialize with others, especially those who live far away, but the fear here is when people start to opt to send messages, emails, wall posts over phone calls and real life interactions where real life opportunities are lost.
Larry Rosen’s Advice for Social Networking Use for Children
Larry Rosen, offered some advice for parents by encouraging them to pay attention to the online trends and the latest technologies they are using but be aware that it will be difficult to monitor all of your child’s social networking activities.
“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.”
Social Networking Monitoring Softwares
Despite Rosen’s comments about monitoring your children, if you feel a desire to protect your child from harm, different Social Networking Monitoring tools are slowly coming to public. One such option is ZoneAlarm Social Guard. I have not used this product before, so please by all means, if you have any feedback please share in the comments below. Video introduction of ZoneAlarm Social Guard is below.
Click Here for More Info: ZoneAlarm Social Guard
Social Monitoring Tool Features:
- Alerts you of “friends” who are much older than they claim to be.
- Alerts you of inappropriate discussions about drugs, suicide, violence, and sex.
- Alerts you of inappropriate links that is shared with your child.
- Alerts you of discussions that suggest cyberbulling.
- Parents do not need to be on Facebook to receive alerts.
- Watches your signs that your child’s account has been hacked.
Share Your Thoughts on Social Media Usage
- What is your thoughts on this study?
- What are some other positive and negative effects you see of using Facebook?
- In the name of irony – like our Clean Cut Media’s Facebook Page