A new study shows that children who frequently check social media exhibit changes to their brains over time. In the study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers at the University of North Carolina performed annual brain scans of 169 children between the ages of 12 and 15, a period of rapid brain development. They observed that children who habitually checked their social media feeds exhibited dramatic changes in the way their brains responded, specifically heightened sensitivity to social rewards from peers. The researchers believe this hypersensitivity to feedback from their peers, associated with frequently checking social media feeds at a young age, could have long-term consequences well into adulthood.
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