Social Media Ban May Be Harmful to Teenagers

Social Media Ban May Be Harmful to TeenagersSocial Media Ban May Be Harmful to Teenagers

It all used to be so simple: Break the rules, get grounded and be banned from hanging out with your friends. These days, of course, social media makes anywhere a teen hangout, and parents looking to ground their kids might choose to cut off access to social media instead. But that punishment might not have the desired effect — and could rather be harmful for teenagers, according to a new study published recently.

Teens forced to take a break from social media lose more than just a few days gossiping with friends, according to research funded and conducted by the University of Chicago’s independent research organization, NORC. In partnership with the Associated Press, researchers surveyed 790 teenagers about whether they’d ever taken a break from social media by choice or by force.

 “The side effect of that is taking away potential emotional support and access to information,” said Amanda Lenhart, study lead researcher and an expert on social media behavior, reported

There’s no denying that grounding a child from social media makes an immediate impact, Lenhart said. But the survey suggests that it may have a more negative effect than parents realize.

Nearly 20% of teens who took a break from social media said they visited sites less often than before their breaks, but 53% said there was no difference in their behavior.

Twenty-three percent said that they would like to take a break from social media but feel they can’t because of the effect it would have on their social lives and on their schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

Coaches and teachers often communicate about practices, assignments or other information through social media. Being cut off from their digital social networks cuts teens off from that important information, as well.

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