by Cree McCree
- Tweeting teens with their noses in Facebook may navigate the real world better than their less wired peers. According to a growing body of research, kids who spend the most time on social media sites tend to be the healthiest psychologically (Los Angeles Times 5.18.10).
- In one recent study of 13- and 14-year-olds, researchers found teens’ online networking mirrored their offline relationships. Far from serving as a distraction, soc nets cemented real-world bonds.
- The Digital Youth Project, a three-year study in California, reached similar conclusions. The final report urges grownups to “facilitate young people’s engagement with social media” rather than blocking it or fearing it.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Teens are social animals. Status updates and tweets are just the latest variations on hanging at the malt shop or gabbing on the phone. Why shouldn’t kids take advantage of all the latest tools?
- Sure, it’s not homework. But social networking isn’t just a time-waster. It helps teens stake out their identities in a context of group support.
- The more connected we become, the more the line blurs between virtual and actual.