Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Social media means social adjustment?

From the Los Angeles Times:
Far from hampering adolescents' social skills or putting them in harm's way, as many parents have feared, electronics appear to be the path by which children today develop emotional bonds, their own identities, and an ability to communicate and work with others.

In fact, children most likely to spend lots of time on social media sites are not the least well-adjusted but the healthiest psychologically, suggests an early, but accumulating, body of research.

In one new study, 13- and 14-year-olds were found to interact on social network sites such as Facebook and MySpace simply in ways that were consistent with their offline relationships and patterns of behavior. And of the 86% of children who used social media sites (a number that reflects the national average), participants who were better adjusted in their early teens were more likely to use social media in their early 20s, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or their parents' income.

Adolescents are largely using social networking sites to keep in touch with friends they already know, not to converse with strangers, said the author of that research, University of Virginia psychologist Amori Yee Mikami.
Makes me wonder how this would apply to Korea. I admit I don't spend enough time around typical teenagers to know about their habits, but some of the students on the subway do seem lost in their own little world, oblivious to what's going on around them, but that just might mean they're even more connected to others. Perhaps it's a healthy form of escapism?


  1. If I was a criminal, these would probably be the "best of times" when it comes to oblivious marks too obsessed with their tech than with obvious dangers lurking around them in plain sight.

  2. having an internet girlfriend before an actual girlfriend probably put me at an advantage in life.

    ... who am i kidding?

  3. Isn't everyone on the subway fairly disconnected? I went to school before networking sites were on every cellphone and I still remember EVERYONE being in their own little world when I rode the subway. The only difference is that people have traded books and CD players for cell phones and mp3 players.

  4. John, good point.

    Shinbone, that's sad.

    Matt, good point.

    There. I feel quite connected and socially adjusted now.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.