Surprise: Kids who use Facebook do worse in school

Research has found that students in middle school, high school and college who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period got lower grades. Other studies have discovered that teens who use Facebook tend to have more narcissistic tendencies, while young adults who are active on the site display other psychological disorders. And daily use of media and technology — what teen doesn’t use tech each day? — makes kids more prone to anxiety and depression…

There’s good news too, of course. While Facebook and other technology has been blamed for hijacking childhood, they also help children develop their identities and hone their ability to empathize with others. In a study that Rosen recently wrapped up, he found that the kids most able to show “virtual empathy” — through supportive comments online — were those who spent more time online than other children. “We are finding that kids who are able to express more virtual empathy are able to expres more real-world empathy,” says Rosen. “They feel more supported socially by online and offline networks.”