Smartphones may make young people emotionally stunted
Young people may be losing the ability to read emotions as digital devices such as smartphones, TVs and tablets are destroying their face-to-face social skills, a new study has found.
Children’s social skills may be declining as they have less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital media, according to a University of California, Los Angeles study.
Scientists found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic devices.
‘Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues - losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people -- is one of the costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interact tion seems to be reducing social skills,’ said Patricia Greenfield, a distinguished professor of psychology in the UCLA College and senior author of the study. The psychologists studied two sets of sixth-graders from a Southern California public school: 51 who lived together for five days, and 54 others from the same school.