We don’t know the impact technology, social media, having all known information a swipe away, instantaneous dialogue, with the world or anyone in particular, is having on young brains.
No one has ever lived in the world kids today are living in, and as loving adults who live to protect children we’re just beginning to learn the risks that threaten and the dangers sucking them in. Suffice it to say; while there are obvious positives, technology is having a negative impact.
“Why is it having a negative impact? I really think it’s because people are searching externally for validation, young people particularly, especially on social media,” says University of Houston post-doctoral researcher Mai-Ly Nguyen Steers, who is examining connections between social media and alcoholism. She highlights an increasing number of studies detailing amplified incidences of depression and social isolation among I-Gen, the generation coming up behind millennials, the oldest of whom are graduating from high school this spring. Self-esteem suffers in an absence of thumbs-up likes on Facebook.
Many parents are now restricting their children’s intervals of having access to technology involving screens, under loud protest. Research suggests that may be the first line of defense in directing young minds into becoming productive adults and providing the necessary life skills to succeed. Being able to read body language and comprehend the subtle signals of facial expressions might someday be a valued professional advantage peers don’t have.
“If you’re able to read people, if you’re able to interact with them, and if they like you, you’re more likely to get promoted and climb the ladder quicker,” says Steers.