The Cellphone and Computer are Important for Teen Development

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 2nd Jul 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>Mental Health

Many parents wonder about teens using the cellphone way too much, this articles reports a study whereby cellphones were said to be helpful with teen development.

The first cell phones

Although computers were used in the government, It was only 50 years ago when computer and cellphone technology was not available. Personal computers were massed marketed in 1977. The earliest cell phones became popular in 1977. The question remains how has the digital world impacted the development of our youth?

"A new study from the University of Washington shows that digital media helps teens reach developmental milestones, such as fostering a sense of belonging and sharing personal problems. But the study also raised questions about whether digital connectedness might hinder the development of an autonomous sense of self."

Cell phone study

According to Katie Davis, the youth of today are doing different things to socialize than the youth of the past; however, digital media is good for youth development. She says it is only the tools used for development which is different today. In other words, the results are pretty much the same.

Friendships are important to adolescent development. Davis goes on to say that digital tools like talking on cellphones and message texting help develop these friendships. This study will be published in the journal of Adolescence.

Of the 32 adolescents in the study who were asked what digital devices they used; the authors found that:

94 percent have cell phones. 53 percent have Internet-enabled cell phones. 91 percent have Facebook profiles. 78 percent use online instant messaging, such as MSN, AOL, or Skype. 94 percent use YouTube. 9 percent use Twitter.

Promoting a sense of belonging

According to Davis, the results reflect American culture and confirm the results of a much larger study she did in South Carolina. When asked what the youths in the present study talked about while texting or chatting on the cellphone, she found that the teens in the study talked about homework assignments about three times more often than personal conversations.

She also found that casual "check-ins" occurred throughout the day when the kids were not in class. Over 68 percent were "check-ins" on Facebook, and commenting on videos on YouTube. The intimate conversations were mostly among the girls in the study who would share how they were feeling with their friends.

"Adolescents are interacting with their peers constantly. Nevertheless, the question arises as to whether they can still develop an autonomous sense of self," Davis said. This isn't known yet, but she suspects that this constant connectivity may support the development of an outward-looking self, one that looks to others for affirmation rather relying on an internal sense of worth and efficacy."

"Relying on others for self-affirmation suggests a relatively fragile sense of self, but our study doesn't say for sure that that is what is going on," Davis said. "What we can say is that adolescents are using digital media to promote their sense of belonging and self-disclosure of personal problems, two important peer processes that support identity development."

All photos taken from the public domain
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Cellphones, Computers, Teen Developments, Teen Studies, Teen Studies And Cellphones, Teenagers, Teens, Teens And Cell Phones, Texting, Youth Development

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author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Kingwell
2nd Jul 2015 (#)

The youth of today have great challenges. It would be interesting to know what the world will be like thirty years from now. Blessings.

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