Forget all you’ve heard about online social networks turning kids into loners or bullies.
Because several new studies show that Websites like Facebook may actually be making kids more social and more caring! For example: A New York University study recently compared volunteers who interacted online with others who interacted face-to-face. The result? The online volunteers reported feeling significantly more comfortable making new friends.
In a 2nd study, psychologists at California State University analyzed comments posted among friends on Facebook. They discovered that frequent Facebook users were more likely to express empathy than those who only signed on occasionally, meaning, the frequent Facebookers were more likely to sense when something was wrong with a friend. And get this: A separate survey found that the more time volunteers spent on Facebook, the more likely they were to also express empathy in real life.
Why’s this a big deal? Dr. Larry Rosen is a psychologist who says until recently, most experts assumed that if you spent a lot of time online, then you must be lonely, have low self-esteem, or you were incapable of making friends. Instead, this research shows that technology not only makes it easier to make friends, it can also make our offline relationships better!