Study: Facebook May Cause Negative Psychological Effects
Professor Larry Rosen of California State University discovers “narcissism” and other side effects
The verdict is out: Facebook is the newest “drug” on the street, and “overdose” might prove deleterious to maturing teenagers. In a new study performed by Larry Rosen, a professor of psychology at California State University, he finds that excessive indulgence in social media portals–especially Facebook–leads to increased antisocial behavior and hampering psychological disorders. His presentation, “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids,” was given at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. Rosen’s results were generated through a computer survey methodology that drew responses from a pool sample of 1,000 urban adolescents and selective 15-minute observations of 300 teens in a natural study environment.
Negative side effects cited in the study include: “narcissism,” “mania and aggressive tendencies,” “sleeping problems,” “anxiety and depression,” “Lower grades for middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period,” and “Lower reading retention rates for students who most frequently had Facebook open on their computers during the 15-minute study period.” However, one unforeseen result recorded by Rosen was “virtual empathy.” Whereas common perception of empathy is thought about in the context of face-to-face verbal and physical actions that induce a feeling of emotional connection, Rosen believes virtual empathy is causing teens to develop emphatic tendencies towards their Facebook friends who seem distressed (as evidenced through their status updates). Whether or not this virtual empathy becomes an educational experience that traverses across the cyber plane and into reality is something professor Larry Rosen looks forward to examining.
What are your thoughts on Facebook overdose? Do you think the social media boom will cause the teenage generation to devolve into narcissistic tech wizards? Will virtual empathy prove to be something morally and socially beneficial to the general populace? Let us know what you think on Twitter.