Hi guys. I said I won’t blog that much, but I felt I had to write about Larry Rosen’s research. He is a social media researcher at California State University, and he did a study about Facebook and teenagers today. I’ll be quoting two websites about his research. Quotes in bold.
“Shy kids now have an easier experience developing relationships, by speaking via a computer keyboard instead of in person.”
In theory. What will happen in real life is the shy person who will stick only to Facebook. He or she will prefer Facebook over real life interaction. Trust me, I am a somewhat shy kid.
“…Rosen fears at times online social networking can detract from a teen’s learning and grades. Rosen has suggested teaching kids to take two-minute “tech breaks” in order to check [Facebook] after 15 minutes of studying. Rosen feels this can help kids focus for longer and not result in social networking having negative effects on their school work.”
Remember when we were doing that painful research report on the computer? Remember how we thought we’d “just check Facebook for a few minutes” and end up spending more time on FB than in actual research? Teaching kids to take “tech breaks” won’t solve this problem. How can you focus for longer when you can’t wait for that tech break?
“Rosen also feels social networks can teach teens empathy. This digital empathy can roll over into the real world.”
How about learning empathy in the real world and transferring that to the digital world?
“Rosen has found associations between social network use and various mental issues, including traits like narcissism, a lack of empathy, increased aggression and traits associated with mental illnesses like schizophrenia and depression.” 
Wait a minute…lack of empathy? I thought it was supposed to teach teens empathy!
All in all, I think the costs outweight the benefits. That is why I don’t use Facebook anymore.
Mandel, H. (2011). Psychological Effects of Constant Facebooking. Retrieved from http://www.examiner.com/health-in-national/psychological-effects-of-constant-facebooking
Welsh, J. (2011). Is Constant ‘Facebooking’ Bad For Teens? Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/15433-facebook-social-media-effects-teens.html/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=LS_08092011