[Excerpt from SDSU News Center]
Technology impedes social relationships
With this, Henry knew she had a dissertation topic. Here was a college student whose use of technology (he could get online and play videogames with his old high school friends, chat and stay in touch with them) left him feeling no urgency to make new social connections until his junior year. And when he finally tried, technology stood in the way.
Henry visited SDSU on Dec. 2 to talk about how technology impacts college students’ emotional and social life. Titled “Changing Landscapes in Higher Education: Students’ Technology Use, Psychosocial Well-Being, and Sense of Community in University Life,” the talk covered results from her dissertation and questions raised by her ongoing research.
Henry’s approach is to examine how college students’ use of technology impacts their emotional and mental health, their social lives, and their feelings of isolation or “connectedness” on campus.
She found that solitary use of technology (surfing the web, watching TV or YouTube or playing video/computer games alone) correlated with feelings of loneliness, shyness and depression.
But group or interpersonal use of technology (talking/texting/e-mailing via cell phone or PDA, networking via Facebook or other social media sites, playing video/computer games with others) led to increased feelings of social skill, self-confidence and social self-efficacy.
In addition, when students spent time using technology and social media to connect with others (e.g., sharing photos, videos, personal updates) they reported more perceived social support and connectedness.
Full article: Technology Tempers Relationship Skills
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