Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New Kind of Social Anxiety in the Classroom

All of this sounds important.  Based on my own experiences with my own children, family, and friends of family, I can only imagine what the unintended consequences are of technology for children.

Here is another word of caution: Constantly Staring At Your Phone Is Bad For The Spine, Says Study


A New Kind of Social Anxiety in the Classroom

Kids who constantly use phones and computers tend to be more nervous in face-to-face conversations. What can teachers do to help?

Giuseppe Milo/Flickr
Stress about a meeting that is still a week away, handwringing before talking to the cashier in the grocery line, worrying about seeing an acquaintance on the street—for people with social anxiety disorder, even the simplest task can prove challenging. The symptoms of social anxiety often set in around adolescence, when people place a new emphasis on social interactions and their place in their peer groups. But some academics fear that greater access to technology could exacerbate social anxiety among teens, particularly as smartphones, tablets, and computers become omnipresent in and out of the classroom. And even though teachers are increasingly exploiting the devices as learning tools, they also play an integral role in stemming the tide of social anxiety.
“If we are glued to technology 24/7, it’s going to have an effect on social skills—it’s just natural,” said Tamyra Pierce, a journalism professor at California State University, Fresno. The clear link between technology and social behavior makes it all the more important that teachers who embrace these devices need to keep students’ social skills in mind.

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