Perils of lurking on social media

Sociology Associate Professor Robert Faris co-authors an article for CNN's 'Being 13' series.

Most adolescents with access to smart phones are living their social lives online as much as they do face-to-face. Adults worry that teens are hooked on social media, but most have no idea what teens are actually doing online. 

As they access social media throughout the day, teens will see how many peers liked, commented, favorited and retweeted their posts, and will take careful note of how they compare to the likes and favorites their peers receive. When they lurk online, teens are studying where they stand in the social network, who is in and who is out, and the numbers that serve as a barometer for social status.

What are the potential consequences of lurking online? We fear this is yet another context in which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Read the full story at