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How Teen Social Media Addiction Can Impact Real Social Interactions

Teens are on the fast track to becoming media multitaskers. Smartphones, tablets, and other devices have taken over their lives and many have developed social media addiction as a result. Teens constantly have a device in their hand that takes attention away from the real world. They are unable to function in the real world because they are busy focusing on a fantasy. Researchers have found an interesting link between social media addiction and how real life first impressions are formed.

Research Behind Social Media Addiction

A recent study by Rice University examines people who use multiple devices at one time and the effects on their perception of people they’ve never met. The activity of using multiple devices is new to teen’s brains. The brain is wired to focus on one thing at a time. The onslaught of digital devices has forced the brain to learn how to do multiple things at a time and effects of multimedia usage is not well known. Rice University researchers wanted to learn the effects of social media addiction specifically on teens ability to form new impressions.

social media addiction

Interestingly, researchers found that there is a huge impact of social media addiction on first impressions. Teens who were extreme media multitaskers were more likely to be distracted by irrelevant information during a first impression. Study participants were put in a room where they were asked to make a first impression on someone in a dirty room or a clean room. Instead of fully addressing the person, the participants found irrelevant information from the surroundings to make their judgements of other people.

Social Media Addiction and Real-Life Social Interactions

This study is the first step in finding links between social media addiction and real-life social interactions. It shows significant changes in the way we interact with each other. It is important for teens to unplug to learn how to appropriately interact with their peers.

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