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Excessive Facebook Use in Teens May Lead to Various Psychological Disorders

Unless you've been living under a rock for the many years now, then you are aware that social media pretty much rules our daily lives. With continued popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, it is safe to say that it is not going to change anytime soon. Facebook is currently the no.1 social networking website based on the number of active users. Now according to a new study, teenagers who are addicted to Facebook are at risk of developing various psychological disorders.

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The said study was conducted by Larry Rosen, a Psychology professor at the California State University. Rosen presented his findings during a presentation entitled "Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids" that was given by the professor himself during the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. Basically he conducted a number of computer-based surveys which are distributed among 1,000 urban adolescents. In addition to that, he also made a 15 minute observation of 300 teens during the study.

Rosen highlighted a couple of negative effects of excessive Facebook use for teens. According to his study:

  • Teens who are using Facebook rather excessively may develop narcissism.
  • He or she may also develop a whole slew of psychological disorders such as antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies. This is especially true for teens who have a strong presence in Facebook.
  • Teens who overdose themselves with Facebook and video games becomes more passive in school with increased absences. Also, the likelihood of developing health problems such as stomach aches, sleeping problems, depression and anxiety are increased the more the subject overdoses himself with technology on a daily basis.
  • Students who uses Facebook frequently have lower reading retention rates. According to Rosen, frequent Facebook users would open the social networking website during the 15-minute study period.

Facebook Teens
But not all findings of Rosen have been negative. There are also positive influences as well that comes with social networking:

  • Teens who are frequently using Facebook are more likely to develop "virtual empathy" towards their online friends.
  • Through social networks, even teens who are introverted will be able learn how to socialize due to the safety that personal computers, laptops and smartphones can provide.
  • Social networking can be a powerful tool for teachers when it comes to educating young students.

Rosen encourages parents to have a more active participation when it comes to their children's social networking activity. Monitoring or completely blocking your child's social networking activity is a waste of effort, as the youth of today are well-versed enough with computers that they will be able to find a workaround. According to Rosen, communication plays a big part when it comes regulating a child's social networking addiction. You need to talk with your kids, as well as listen to what they have to say. This way, trust will be built.

Facebook is indeed a great tool for socializing and keeping up with your friends and acquiantances. But pretty much like anything when used excessively, it could lead to negative consequences. Keep it healthy by doing everything in moderation. [via Mashable]

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