Social Media Has On The Psychosocial Development Of The Human Brain

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A variety of research and studies have indicated the positive effect social media has on the psychosocial development of the human brain as well as associating a greater form of sympathy in result of media usage. A handful of these studies measured the sympathy aspect by asking empathy based questions for evaluation. However, this caused confusion between the two words sympathy and empathy because both terms have similar but different meanings. The conclusion is that empathy has been measured the whole time during these studies rather than sympathy, having this not been acknowledged beforehand (Vossen, 2016, p. 123). As stated by H.G.M. Vossen, sympathy is “an automatic response that particularly relates to suffering or distress of others”…show more content…
Vossen concluded that “at both time points social media use was positively correlated to affective empathy and cognitive empathy, but not to sympathy” (p. 121). There was a positive effect on social media use in cognitive empathy from year one to year two, but cognitive empathy did not influence social media usage (p. 122). Vossen concluded that “individuals reporting more social media use in T1 (year one) increased in their cognitive empathy scores a year later” (p. 122). During this study, many points were made clear about how social media is linked with empathy. Throughout the early stages of development in adolescents, empathy is more established through experiences in social interactions. “Social interactions help shape and fine-tune mental representations of emotions, which are needed to recognize and share emotions of others” (p. 119). During these social interactions online, adolescents are able to naturally create these representations of emotions since the person they are talking to is not necessarily in front of them. This creates a dynamic in which people can practice their empathy based skills online, leading them to imagine the emotions and feelings other people are having (pp. 119-120). Since adolescents begin to naturally develop and create representations of emotions, the tendency to empathize with others can be seen in social interactions happening online (p. 119). Vossen makes a very significant point in which she talks about
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