Chicago — A new study found that frequent social media use is affecting teens brains.
This study, led by Dr. Eva Telzer, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that teens who check social media more throughout the day tend to be more responsive to social rewards and punishments.
Dr. Telzer said, “For youth who habitually check their social media, the brain is changing in a way that is becoming more and more sensitive to social feedback over time, and this is setting the stage for how the brain continues to develop into adulthood.”
The study tested 169 teenagers in rural North Carolina, aged 12-13, for three years. Each teen reported how often they checked Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat — from checking one to over 20 times per day. Then, each teen was tested by their reaction time to press a button, and depending on how fast they were (a “hit” or a “miss”), they received either a happy face as a reward, a neutral blurred face, or an angry face as a punishment.
This guest post is in partnership with True Star Media.