Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teens and Social Networking Sites

There’s a great deal of discussion going on about the uses, abuses and mysteries of the Internet, especially when it come to our children. Researchers continue to look at the ways families use the Internet and how it impacts their lives, and offer insights on the “good”, the “bad” and the “ugly” of the World Wide Web. One area that’s gained tremendous attention is the use of social networking sites, such as FaceBook.

According to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life project, more than half of American teens who are online have a profile on a social networking site. In a random sample of almost 1,000 youth ages 12 to 17, the researchers wanted to better understand why so many teens are attracted to this Internet phenomenon.

What they found was that girls tend to join these sites to reinforce pre-existing friendships and visit the sites with much greater frequency than boys, who tend to “hangout” in these social spaces to make new friends . . .  or to flirt.

Parents are always encouraged to be aware of the places their children visit online and know who they are “talking” to. Although it can be a friendly place to keep up with friends, as in the “real world,” there are always dangers. Stay involved. Talk with your teen.

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