a new study on teens and social networking (called “Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview”) is available free on the pew website, here. i’ve only skimmed it, but it looks highly worth reading for youth workers and parents. i’ll post more after i’ve read it, if it calls for it.
A social networking site is an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network that connects him or her to other users. In the past five years, such sites have rocketed from a niche activity into a phenomenon that engages tens of millions of internet users. More than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites, according to a new national survey of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The survey also finds that older teens, particularly girls, are more likely to use these sites. For girls, social networking sites are primarily places to reinforce pre-existing friendships; for boys, the networks also provide opportunities for flirting and making new friends.
(ht to bob carlton)