Studies show that both offline and online social activities are related with a child’s brain development. “There is evidence that the density of grey matter volume in the amygdala, a structure associated with emotional processing, is related to larger offline social networks, as well as larger online social networks.” (Bickart, et al.)
Being accepted socially increases activity in ventral striatum in children, adolescents and adults. The striatum coordinates different aspects of cognition which involve motor and action planning, decision-making, motivation, reinforcement, and reward perception. When a child feels that he or she is socially accepted, reward and pleasure regions in the brain are activated – similar to the feeling of receiving money or tasting something pleasant.
Social media, when used to connect with others and to belong to a group, can help a child’s brain development. We can do this by encouraging them to connect with friends thru chat or video conferencing rather than browsing endlessly and watching videos. But prior social relations, such as parental relations, also play a huge part in a child’s brain development.