Friday, September 16, 2011

Could Those Hours Online Be Making Kids Nicer?

What would Adam Smith say, especially the one from Wednesday's post? Click here to read the Wall Street Journal article about this. Maybe Facebook and Twitter have positive externalities. Excerpts:
"Time spent online may be helping people learn to be more empathetic and make more friends in real life.

A growing body of research indicates the widespread use of texting, emailing or posting on social-media sites has social benefits."

" communication can lead to more or better friendships online and off, greater honesty, faster intimacy in relationships and an increased sense of belonging, in addition to practical social benefits like an expanded circle for networking."

" appears to enhance real-world relationships..."

"People use digital communication primarily to interact with people they are closest to offline, not with strangers. The communication tightens the bonds between them..."

"... technology-driven communication may be particularly helpful for people who are shy or anxious in social settings."

"Anxious students reported greater shyness and discomfort than non-anxious students in face-to-face groups. In the chat room, however, they said they felt significantly less shy, more comfortable and better accepted by their peers."

"Socially anxious participants were more likely to make decisions and lead the group when they were in the chat room than when face-to-face with others."

"Frequent communication online could serve as practice for in-person social interactions..."

"...empathy could indeed be recognized and communicated through written, online communication."

"Digital communication also appears to bolster individuals' sense of community and group identity..."

"Students reporting low self esteem who actively used Facebook were more likely to say they felt a part of the Michigan State community than low self-esteem individuals who didn't use Facebook as intensely..."

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