Social Media and Adolescent Development: Hazards, Pitfalls and Opportunities for Growth

F. Diane Barth
2014 Clinical social work journal  
While most clinicians-even those in their late twenties-did not grow up with contemporary technology, including social networks and cyber media, our adolescent clients have never known a world without it. We therefore often struggle not only to understand the impact of these technological forums on these younger generations, but also whether or not they can be useful tools or destructive agents in the therapeutic process. In this article we will consider research on the impact of Facebook,
more » ... ng and other cyber technology on psychological health in adolescents. The data is often somewhat contradictory (e.g. one study says that Facebook makes adolescents lonelier while another says that it makes them feel more socially connected), but one finding is consistent: technology seems to amplify emotions not only in adolescents, but also in adults. In this article we will address ways that the technological world can affect adolescent development and what we, as clinicians, can do to ameliorate the negative and support the positive aspects of this sometimes overwhelming but clearly permanent aspect of contemporary life.
doi:10.1007/s10615-014-0501-6 fatcat:hgyyvk7ct5hfvmj5z6z6iq5ndi