Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Social media and social skills research

The social skills of students using digital media may be declining, according to a new study. The researchers "found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic devices," according to a news release about the study.
"Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs," said a senior author of the study.. "Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills."
Uhls, Y., et al. (2014).Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preten skills with nonverbal emotion cues. Computers in Human Behavior, 39(Oct.), 387–392.

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