how teens use Internet to allay health concerns
New study has suggested that 84 percent teens turn to the Internet when they are grappling with new and often confusing health concerns. While most teens tap online sources to learn more about puberty, drugs, sex, depression and other issues, a surprising 88 percent said they do not feel comfortable sharing their health concerns with Facebook friends or on other social networking sites, as per the Northwestern University study.
They attempted to study the frequency with which the teens turned towards online health tools, the quantity and quality of information they received and if the information helped them deal with their health problems.
Nearly one third of the teenagers surveyed said the online information led to behavior changes, such as cutting back on soda, trying healthier recipes and using exercise to combat depression. One in five teens surveyed, or 21 percent, meanwhile, have downloaded mobile health apps.
Lead author Ellen Wartella said that they found some real surprises about what teens are doing online when it comes to their health, adding that people often hear about all the negative things kids are doing online, but teens are using the Internet to take care of themselves and others around them.
Wartella added that the study underscores how important it is to make sure there is accurate, appropriate and easily accessible information available to teens, because it’s used and acted upon.
Thus, gauging the impact the virtual world is capable of having on teen health, it is imperative that the internet provides them with accessible, correct and effective information.