POSTED: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 8:45am
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 9:00am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Technology and teens are hard to separate.
But all that connectivity may actually lead to kids being so dialed in that they aren't learning how to connect emotionally.
Stanford University professor Clifford Nass says millions of teens, especially girls, are actually learning to be distracted.
"The brain gets so used to distraction, so used to looking where it shouldn't that they can't ever look where they should," said Nass.
Young tech users aren't looking you in the eye.
Kids are missing out on learning the crucial life skill of emotional development.
Nass says key emotional development happens for girls between ages 8 and 12 during face to face encounters.
When tweens are distracted, they don't learn how to read and understand emotion.
"Kids have much less emotional control than they used to," said Nass. "We see them stumped by social situations so we see the need when kids are together their ability to just organize and do things is tougher, parents have to intervene."
Nass says good old fashioned parenting that involves talks with lots of eye contact will help develop emotional intelligence kids need to succeed.
The study also showed that young girls who spent several hours a day watching videos and using online communication felt like they were less normal, less socially successful and had trouble sleeping.