Digital Media May be Degrading Children's Social SkillsCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: August 25, 2014 02:13PM
Okay, this is probably something that will not surprise many people. A recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles has shown that the use of digital media can impair a child's social skills. More specifically, by spending time looking at a screen instead of interacting with someone face-to-face, the children are not learning how to read emotional cues.
For the study, the researchers used two groups of sixth graders. Both groups were given a test at the beginning of the study, to determine their ability to recognize emotions that was repeated at the end. In the interim, one group of 51 students went on a five day trip to a nature and science camp that does not allow the use of electronics. Before going to camp, the group made an average of 14.02 errors on the test and at the end of the study though that number dropped to 9.41. The 54 students who did not go to the camp at that time saw little or no change in the number of errors made. The students reported that they spend, on average, 4.5 hours each school day with digital media, in one form or another.
While the study does rather strongly indicate one negative with digital media, at least it also shows it can be addressed, to a point. Make sure the kids get some face-to-face time, away from devices and they should be in better shape.