Social networking affects in teens - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Social networking affects in teens

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Seventy-percent of teens today say they venture onto social networking sites every day. 

That's according to a study at Columbia University.  Researchers study breaks down where they go, and what they see.   They found that more than half the teens say they see pictures of kids drunk, passed out, or using drugs…many before the age of 13.  Researchers say that's a problem because pictures that are repeated usually will take the shock value out of something that should have been shocking to young people in real life.

The study finds kids, who visit social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter every day, are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol, and use drugs.  They were compared to kids who keep their friendships off-line.

Dr. Harsh Trivedi said, "You look to your peer group really as a way to figure out what's normal, what's abnormal. And the more that you see these images, it just becomes more so what's normal in other kids your age." "It's a study that makes a lot of sense. It is clinically what i see in my office all the time."

The study suggests it's the job of the parents, not the website, to take the lead in policing kids' online habits. It's tough because parents, who want to get to know their child's friends at school, have an insurmountable job trying to know hundreds of friends online.

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