I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

I’m not a fan of Facebook

on April 16, 2013

College freshmen who report higher levels of anxiety and alcohol use are more likely to feel emotionally connected with the social networking site than those who don’t.

I read this article by  Elizabeth Armstrong Moore about a study that was conducted on college freshmen.  It shows a link between anxiety, alcohol and an emotional connection with Facebook and other social media.  It’s really no surprise to me.  I’ve read numerous articles about the problems with Facebook and I can’t say that I’m much of a fan of social media.  I do have a Facebook account and I enjoy the positive side of keeping up to date with family and friends, along with discovering new information but there is a lot of gossiping and bullying done through social media that has become commonplace and it is certainly not acceptable.  Every day we hear about someone who has been hurt by mean comments, outright lies or inappropriate pictures that are being shared with family, friends and complete strangers.   Why do people think it is okay to hurt someone else?  When we hurt others we will inevitably end up hurting ourselves also and for what purpose?

Read what this student discovered when doing his thesis.

April 12, 2013 11:30 AM PDT

(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

In a quest to learn what leads some people to turn to Facebook to connect with others, doctoral student Russell Clayton of the Missouri School of Journalism found that anxiety and alcohol use seem to play a big role.

For his master’s thesis, which appears in the May issue of Computers in Human Behavior, Clayton surveyed more than 225 college freshman about two emotions, anxiety and loneliness, and two behaviors, alcohol and marijuana use. He found that the students who reported both higher levels of anxiety and greater alcohol use also appeared the most emotionally connected with Facebook. Those who reported higher levels of loneliness, on the other hand, said they used Facebook to connect with others but were not emotionally connected to it.

It probably isn’t terribly surprising that those who are anxious may feel more emotionally connected to a virtual social setting than a public one, which Clayton acknowledges in a school news release. “Also, when people who are emotionally connected to Facebook view pictures and statuses of their Facebook friends using alcohol, they are more motivated to engage in similar online behaviors in order to fit in socially.”

Marijuana use, on the other hand, predicted the opposite — the absence of emotional connectedness to the site. Clayton has a theory about this as well: “Marijuana use is less normative, meaning fewer people post on Facebook about using it. In turn, people who engage in marijuana use are less likely to be emotionally attached to Facebook.”

Whether Facebook is therapeutic for those feeling anxious is debatable. Last year one study found that people who use social networking sites regularly saw their behaviors change negatively, and that included having trouble disconnecting and relaxing. So the question becomes: Which came first, the anxiety or the networking?

Meanwhile, Facebook appears to be showing its laughter lines as teenagers “meh” their way to Twitter and Instagram. Surveys of their levels of anxiety and drug use while on those sites are surely imminent.

This article should be disturbing to us.  Parents need to help their children build esteem so they don’t become dependent on social media for their entertainment and relationships.  We need to teach them how to use the internet properly and that they should not spread gossip or pass along inappropriate pictures or information.  Children learn good and bad habits from their parents and the people around them, so we need to be a good example and show them how to be a responsible, caring adult.   Let’s all start doing acts of kindness and passing along love to each other!

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