Washington: Teenagers stay glued to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, much to the chagrin of their parents. But all this time online can be beneficial too, says a new study.
Despite lurking dangers on the web, the time that teens spend surfing can actually contribute to their healthy development, says the study by Moshe Israelashvili of Tel Aviv University's School of Education,
Israelashvili, along with his student Taejin Kim and colleague Gabriel Bukobza, studied 278 teens, male and female, from schools in Israel.
They found that many teens were using the Internet as a tool for exploring questions of personal identity, successfully building their own future lives using what they discover on the Web, the Journal of Adolescence reports, citing a university statement.
Israelashvili's research encourages parents and educators to look at engagement with the online world as beneficial for teens.
Social networking, he says, is a positive example of Internet use: "Facebook use is not in the same category as gambling or gaming."
As a result, Israelashvili says, researchers should redefine the characteristics of the disorder called "internet addiction" in adolescents.