Is Facebook Bad for Kids?

Psychologist Larry Rosen talks social media's pros and cons.

ByABC News
August 10, 2011, 6:16 AM

Aug. 11, 2011 — -- Millions of kids are actively using Facebook -- some even in violation of the social network's rule that members be 13 years of age -- according to Consumer Reports, but one expert says that all this new technology can have some pluses.

Dr. Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University, recently did a presentation for the American Psychological Association titled "Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and and Harm Our Kids."

He told ABC News correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi that Facebook provided "really wonderful opportunities" for children to grow, develop and learn life.

"The more time that kids are on Facebook doing Facebook updates [and] posting photos the more they're able to show empathy or understanding or sharing feelings with someone else online," Rosen said. "Even better yet that seems to be predicting that they get better doing it in the real world too."

He said his research had identified some problems, however.

"Kids who spent more time on Facebook tended to show more signs of narcissism," he said.

Watch "The Conversation" to find out what questions to ask to ensure that your kids get a healthy dose of social media.