Using social media Web sites is among the most common activity of today's children and adolescents. Social Media can sometimes seem like just a new set of cool tools for involving young people. The National School Boards Association found that youth aged 9 to 17 spent an average of nine hours a week on social networking sites (National School Board Association, 2007). For young people, technological changes, such as the Internet on cell phones, iPads and other tablets, and better computer capabilities make access to social media easier.
Middle and high school students are using social media to connect with one another on homework and group projects.11 For example, Facebook and similar social media programs allow students to gather outside of class to collaborate and exchange ideas about assignments. Some schools successfully use blogs as teaching tools,12 which has the benefit of reinforcing skills in English, written expression, and creativity.
Short-term exposure increases the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behavior, aggressive thoughts, and aggressive emotions. Recent large-scale longitudinal studies provide converging evidence linking frequent exposure to violent media in childhood with aggression later in life, including physical assaults and spouse abuse. Because extremely violent criminal behaviours (e.g., forcible rape, aggravated assault, homicide) are rare, new longitudinal studies with larger samples are needed to estimate accurately how much habitual childhood exposure to media violence increases the risk for extreme violence.
Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” defined as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.22,–,27 Acceptance by and contact with peers is an important element of adolescent life. The intensity of the online world is thought to be a...
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