How does technology impact kids’ social skills?

The most powerful impact technology overuse has is on interpersonal relationships.

Interpersonal skills may deteriorate during childhood and adolescence if children are not given the opportunity to develop and practice these skills with others. Children learn how to interact with others, monitor reactions from peers and alter their behavior from their social experiences. Feedback from face-to-face engagement largely comes in the form of nonverbal cues (facial expressions, posture). In the online world children do not have those cues to help them determine which of their actions are productive (leads to more friendships and genuine connections) or unproductive (which leads difficulty making friends and connecting with others).

Common interpersonal relationship problems include:
  • Poor communication skills
  • Focus on online friends versus offline friends
  • Disintegration of friendships
  • Inability to disengage from technology
  • Withdrawal from family
  • Increased time spent alone
  • Social awkwardness
Excerpted from the iBook Unplug: Raising Kids In a Technology Addicted World by Lisa K. Strohman, J.D., Ph.D. Copyright © 2015 Lisa Strohman, J.D., Ph.D., Melissa Westendorf, J.D., Ph.D. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.