Facebook use linked to teen psych disorders

Early study results show correlation between social network's use and narcissism, aggression

Using Facebook and other social networks can have some significant negative effects on teenagers and young adults, says a California State University researcher.

Actually, using sites like Facebook can be linked to some serious psychological disorders, like narcissism for teenagers, and antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies with young adults, says Dr. Larry Rosen , professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Rosen presented his findings, which he pointed out are new and not yet ready for publication, at an American Psychological Association conference in Washington, D.C. last week.

He noted in his presentation that teenagers and young adults are highly attached to their digital devices, spending a lot of time on social networking sites and often communicating with friends and relatives by text message instead of over the phone or face-to-face.

Rosen pointed out that 42% of teenagers say they can text blindfolded.

And he's far from alone in talking about how much time people are spending on social sites and using devices.

Last summer, a study showed that 57% of the women polled said they communicate with people more online than they do face to face, and 39% called themselves Facebook addicts.

That study echoed another, released in March 2010, which showed that people are often obsessed with social networking sites, noting that 48% of those polled said they update their Facebook or Twitter accounts during the night or as soon as they wake up. It also found that 19% of people under the age of 25 post Facebook or Twitter updates anytime they wake up during the night.

Rosen said overdoing it on social networking sites can draw out negative emotional behaviors. However, he was quick to point out to Computerworld that he's not trying to imply that Facebook creates psychological disorders. That has not been shown.

"We feel that either one of two mechanisms is at work here," Rosen said. "If you already have narcissistic tendencies, these 'behind the screen' media will bring them out since you are not talking directly to people, only a screen. However, for the same reason it also encourages you to display those same signs and symptoms through your writing/posting/photos."

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said he's not surprised to hear these kind of results.

"New technology always gives users new ways to indulge both their best and worst traits," Olds added. "Just as the telephone made it easier to reach out and touch someone, it also made it easier to reach out and annoy someone or act creepy. Social networking isn't any different."

Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about web 2.0 and web apps in Computerworld's Web 2.0 and Web Apps Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Web 2.0 and Web AppsinternetFacebook

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?