According to a new study, social networking sites such as Facebook are having a negative effect on children’s concentration levels, behaviour and performance at school.
The research highlights the potential psychological risks for teens who spend too much time on social networking sites – leading to lapses in concentration and lower in school grades.
Those who regularly log into their Facebook page are also more likely to display signs of behavioural problems and an unhealthy self-obsession.
The research, carried out by psychology professor Larry D. Rosen at California State University, was based around watching students spend 15 minutes studying something important to them.
He said the research team were ‘staggered’ at the lapses in concentration due to the students needing to check their Facebook page.
‘What we found was mind-boggling’, says Rosen.
‘About every three minutes they are off-task. You’d think under these constraints, knowing that someone is observing you, that someone would be more on task.
‘The more media they consumed per day, the worse students they were.
‘If they checked Facebook just once during 15 minutes, they were worse students.’
The study found that children who were constantly using Facebook and other social media sites were more likely to show aggression and anti-social behaviour problems. The study also said that kids under 13 using the sites daily were more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and sleeping problems.
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