Facebook, MySpace Beneficial To Teens

Helps them learn

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Technology]

Teens who use social media such as MySpace and Facebook are not just wasting time, they are in fact developing important social and technical skills online, according to new research from the MacArthur Foundation.

Facebook, MySpace Beneficial To Teens

"It might surprise parents to learn that it is not a waste of time for their teens to hang out online," said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher and the report’s lead author.

"There are myths about kids spending time online – that it is dangerous or making them lazy. But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age."

The study was conducted over the past three years and included over 800 young people and their parents, it focused on how young people engage with digital media.

There is a generation gap in how youth and adults view the value of online activity. Adults often don’t know what youth are doing online, and tend to view online activity as risky or an unproductive distraction.  Youth understand the social value of online activity and are generally highly motivated to participate.

Young people are learning basic social and technical skill they need to fully participate in contemporary society.  The social worlds that youth are involved with have new kinds of dynamics, as online socializing is permanent, public, requires managing elaborate networks of friends and acquaintances, and is always on.

Other positive findings include that the Internet provides a way for youth to interact and receive feedback from one another. Young people respect each other’s authority online and are more motivated to learn from each other than adults.

"Online spaces provide unprecedented opportunities for kids to expand their social worlds and engage in public life, whether that is connecting with peers over MySpace or Facebook, or publishing videos on YouTube," said Ito.

"Kids learn on the Internet in a self-directed way, by looking around for information they are interested in, or connecting with others who can help them. This is a big departure from how they are asked to learn in most schools, where the teacher is the expert and there is a fixed set of content to master."

In some cases the researchers found that parents and their children came together around gaming or shared digital media projects, where both parties found a common ground.


Facebook, MySpace Beneficial To Teens
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • Guest

    sad… using these forms of social media does not teach any social skills at all. Nor does it teach technical skills needed for this industry. I am in my twenties and have success in this industry and dont have an account with any of them.

    It is about as anti-social as it gets, and doesnt take skill. The servers keep track of all your friends for you; you dont even actually have to remember their names. And how many times have you tried to spend time with someone that has an obsession with these online social sites. They cant hold a conversation. Either because they arent used to talking to people, or because they are so distracted by what a ‘friend’ might be saying online.

    There are essential skills for life that are being missed out on, not to mention the fact that it requires no physical movement and is not good for your body. Common sense cannot be learned at a computer, sometimes you actually need to go out and experience life.

    Computers are useful, and entertaining. But just like anything else, should be used in moderation.

  • http://www.seowebmarketing.co.uk Guest

    Interesting article, I guess it depends on how you use the internet whether that be for social contact, business, research, entertainment etc…but the fact that the majority of users find it to be a wonderful communication tool speaks for itself.  I do think facebook becomes an extension of your own personality, and if it helps people to communicate and become more open – hence its good to talk, then surely that can’t be a bad thing. 

    Some people do find it difficult to communicate no matter what age they are, and if by responsible social networking on sites such as facebook help them – why is that such a bad thing? 

    If Sigmund was alive today he would have a field day studing the psychology of facebook, myspace, bebo and the like.  I think an open platform such as sites offer a quicker "society confirmation", ie gossip but also at the same time they will cause havoc, its just a new way of communication which is not far of becoming immediate in all formats……its good to talk? 

    - Susan

    *** SEO Web Marketing *** 

  • http://www.portalmaonaroda.com.br eletronicos

    Social Media is the future (also the present of internet).

  • http://www.couponsky.com coupon code

    Teens can develop important social and technical skills online by facebook and myspace. They can talk and exchange their thoughts very easily.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • G

    Social networking is important. It is essential for teens to communicate well with others. Facebook, myspace, and tweeter serve this purpose. I have a facebook! and I love it! There are ways to protect yourself against harms. Privacy settings can be changed. I am a teen writer at RadicalParenting.com which is a parenting blog from the kid’s perspective there are 60 teen and tween writers run by teen author, Vanessa Van Petten. We just posted a video of “Why do Teens Use Social Networking Sites?” here:


    and would love for you to check it out and tell us what you think or repost if you like it,

    Cheers, thanks for checking it out!

    G and the Teen Team

  • Guest

    I would have to say I agree 100% with this artilce. Yes sitting at the computer makes you lazy, but its not about that, its about the constant networking and easy access to thing. In todays society being out and “experiecing life” is not the safest thing to do. We have to think pass the stereotype of the internet. I have learned a lot at a quick pace because of the social networks I am apart of. Everybody is different, and where in some cases it helps a certain group and not the other.

  • Guest

    no it isn’t duhhh!!!!!

  • Guest

    Thank you, this is exactly what I needed for my debate.

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom