Are Kids Over Connected?

May 11, 2012 Updated May 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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May 11, 2012 Updated May 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM EDT

Buffalo (WKBW) Teens and technology, the two have become almost synonymous. And as technology becomes more widespread among young people, it raises the question: is too much technology a bad thing? Are kids over-connected?

Dr. Michael Stefanone is a Communications Professor at the University of Buffalo and a Researcher focusing on Social Media.

"Too much of anything is a bad thing. And I think that people naturally find that balance. You have to manage where you spend your time,"

"I think it is a wonderful tool," marketing manager Nicole Schuman said, "but we need to teach them the proper techniques, etiquette, rules and the proper boundaries for how much is too much."

Experts agree that connectivity, networking, and the availability of information can have a large positive impact on a teen's life. But overexposure and overuse can come with risks.

"Those people that are on their laptops, checking email, or messaging their friends through their phones perform at a lower level at the end of the day compared to those who aren't distracted," Dr. Stefanone said, citing research.

Schuman agreed, saying there are also social issues that arise with an overuse of technology.

"These kids are just behind these appliances all day, and then they go out into the real world and they don't know how to talk to people one on one," she said.

But this isn't just a college issue, or even a high school one.

"I would say the majority, the vast majority of my students, easily over 95% own cell phones, over 90% are on Facebook or use a variety of social media," middle school teacher Tony Ambrose said.

It is a fine digital line of costs and benefits, walked by teens and overseen by parents. And experts say it all comes down to is balance.

"Everything in moderation is really the key," Schuman said.

"All things need to be balanced for a healthy life," Stefanone added.