Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Social Networking Impact on Health Explored

Terry found this very interesting article, that I think is worth taking a look at:

"Pediatricians are adding another topic to their list of questions for visits with school-aged and adolescent patients: Are you on Facebook? Recognizing the increasing importance of all types of media in their young patients’ lives, pediatricians often hear from parents who are concerned about their children’s engagement with social media. To help address the many effects—both positive and negative—that social media use has on youth and families, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new clinical report, The Impact of Social Media Use on Children, Adolescents and Families in the April issue of Pediatrics (published online March 28). The report offers background on the latest research in this area, and recommendations on how pediatricians, parents and youth can successfully navigate this new mode of communication."

I like that it spells out benefits in addition to more worrying issues. Seems like sleep deprivation is becoming a national problem, eh? First time I've heard of "Facebook depression".


Charles Pratt said...

I am generally a fan of social networking sites, as I think they provide a wonderful way to increase communication between kids, friends, students and schools, etc. I also think they are a great way for involved parents to get another look at how their kids interact with peers and to get a window into their behavior with other people when their parents ‘aren’t around’ that would never be available without sites like Facebook. So I’m glad positives were discussed, but some of the negatives are ‘eye raising’ as well.

Two thoughts kind of stick out to me:

1. The idea of ‘Facebook Depression’. It seems like an almost laughable expression when you first hear it, but some kids take teasing and even comments that inadvertently ‘hurt their feelings’ pretty hard. When someone verbally says these things to you, they are still hurtful, but you can often ‘move on’ or ‘get over it’ fairly quickly. I’ve often wondered just how damaging it is to some kids because they now have the ability to re-read a harmful online comment ad nauseum, or to have them made easily and readily available for others to read after the initial expression or comment was made.
2. Another discussion my wife and I were having recently involved a few of the college-age interns she’s worked with at her job who send professional emails and communication with people both inside and outside the organization in ‘text-speak’ or ‘Facebook-speak’. As someone in his early 30s, I think people from my age group were born at an interesting time. I would never claim to be as ‘tech savvy’ or hip to internet trends as today’s kids, but people around my age were the first to use and develop popular tech trends like internet memes, chat-speak, instant messaging, etc. However, most of us retained the ability to communicate in more traditional, accepted means in professional settings that I fear many Gen Y or Millennials aren’t quite mastering. I think this would be a valuable area for schools and other organizations that promote professional development to focus on. This topic isn’t really discussed in the article, but I think it’s related to some of the behaviors the authors talked about.

Dawn said...

In response to Chuck:

1) I think teaching kids good boundaries with Facebook can be a great start to fighting Facebook Depression and related anxieties. Teach them how to set up limited profiles, so that anyone they feel pressured to friend, but aren't 100% comfortable has limited access is a good start...and teach them to include anyone who is a jerk to them in that category. Plus, teach them to immediately delete anything hurtful is important too. Developing a zero tolerance for BS which is more about the bully than the victim is a great empowerment.

2) I feel it is totally unprofessional to not use capitols in emails, but have gotten in trouble for mentioning it as being harsh. But where should the lines be drawn?