This is the view of Professor of Psychology Larry D. Rosen from California State University who presented his findings at the 19th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.
Professor Rosen gave a talk under the banner ‘Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids’ in which he spoke at length about the dangers of pre-teens and teenagers in particular using social networks such as Twitter or Facebook for long periods.
Those at risk can be identified by vain, aggressive and anti-social behaviour, with pre-teens who use social networking sites on their Macs, iPads, PCs and laptops increasingly likely to suffer from bouts of depression, anxiety and other psychological problems.
Professor Rosen said: “While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives.”
Scientists also discovered that poorer academic performance could be linked to the increase in use of social networking sites. Teenagers who checked social networking sites at least once during a 15 minute study period were likely to receive lower marks according to scientists.
Positive effects can be found for Apple Mac, PC, laptop and other users of social networking sites. For example, the social networks encourage shy people to express themselves, whilst it gives teenagers the chance to empathise with other teenagers.