CHICAGO, Ill., - Every one remembers their high school days and trying to fit in and become popular. Kids who didn’t feel popular could leave that behind once the left school grounds.
But as mass social networks like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook grow, there seems no escaping social hierarchy. A recent study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows being de-friended, or being shunned by Facebook friends is actually more harmful to a child than the friends they have in real life.
In this study, Gwenn O' Keefe, AAP head researcher and pediatrician has said that social media “interferes with homework, sleep and physical activity among the young.”
Najiba Helmi, a mother of a 13-year-old avid Facebook user, “My daughter is constantly on Facebook, and there is always drama in her classroom about cyber bullying. Kids were always capable of being cruel, but bullying someone in the public eye is just plain brutal.”
“If someone removes me from as a friend, I would say it would bother me. I know that when people post things about other students in my class, their feelings get really hurt. Even at school you can tell that they're sad,” say's Helmi's daughter Kathleen.
Keefe wants parents to understand how to use the popular social network to be able to monitor their children's pages to prevent children attaining low self-esteem.This suggests that parents should take more initiative to control how much facebook is use, before the use becomes an obsession, causing a child to constantly reflect on their social status and where they stand on the social hierarchy.