Youth mood and cognitive ability impacted by online interaction

Youth mood and cognitive ability impacted by online interaction

Many people including parents have been worried about the effects of spending too much time online - and this study shows just how it may impact youth.

youth on internet

A study conducted by UNSW Sydney and published in Scientific Reports sheds some light on how young people and children are affected by online social activity.

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The researchers noted that there was no consensus on whether online activity was good or bad overall, but this study noted cognitive and mood impairment.

In the study, the participants, aged between 10 and 24, were told to record a video of themselves and submit it for online peer-evaluation before doing a cognitive test.

The results showed that when young people felt like others were judging them, they reported a poor mood and performed worse on cognitive tests.

The researchers said that since humans traditionally deal with each other face-to-face, the social evaluation is immediate, leading to easy adjustment.

However, when interacting online, there is no immediate feedback which leads to uncertainty and anxious feelings.

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The good news is that these effects can be compensated for by providing good social support.

Image: iStock

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