Brace yourselves, parents: a flood of new research shows the damaging effects Facebook can have on kids. Middle school through college-age youths who checked the site at least once within a 15-minute study bloc received poorer marks, researchers found. Meanwhile, teens on Facebook appear to be more narcissistic, and kids who use media and other new technology every day face a higher risk of anxiety and depression, studies suggest.
On the other hand, Facebook can help kids forge a sense of identity, and kids who spend more time online appear more likely to learn “virtual empathy,” offering kind words to their friends online, Time reports. The virtual empathy translates into real-world empathy, a researcher says. “We're teetering on the balance—too much time online can lead to health problems and narcissism, but it can also teach you to be more empathic and develop your sense of self.”