Face-to-Face Interaction Trumps Texts for Social Closeness

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Adapted from Health Day

While technology use among young people offers some social advantages, face-to-face interaction does a better job of conveying emotional support and helping to read unspoken cues, new research contends.

In two separate studies on teens and young adults, researchers found that text messaging and social media’s emotional and psychological benefits are offset by an apparent cost.

One study showed that face-to-face support proved better than text messaging in brightening the moods of those who’ve just faced stress. The other study found that preteens who spent five days away from screens improved their ability to recognize nonverbal emotional cues.

“This is an extremely important phenomenon,” said Patricia Greenfield, senior author of the preteen study, and a professor of psychology at University of California, Los Angeles.

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