Interestingly, the jury is still out in terms of creativity. “Excessive screen time leaves less time for active, creative play and social activities, but on the other hand, use of social networking sites by teens could increase creativity through sharing artistic and musical creations using blogs, podcasts, videos and games,” Blaustein says.
The AAP notes that pro-social media (generally considered content that can have a positive impact on adolescent behavior) can help strengthen their interpersonal skills and help model empathy and ethnic tolerance.
“If there is one population that has benefited tremendously by the development of online media, it is children with a handicap,” Banschick says. “It is a brilliant, miraculous thing for children with autism, apraxia and other developmental disorders. I have seen it work wonders.”