Teens’ social lives online, in person blur together

Boys, in turn, more often make friendships via online games with more than a half of them claiming to have made new friends while playing compared to only 13 percent of girls.

Most of those new friendships stay online-only, according to the study; only 20 percent of the teens surveyed say they ever met their online friend in person. It is unknown from the survey if there has been a change in whether teens are revealing less or creating a more realistic online persona. Additionally, boys are generally more likely to make friends online as 61 percent of them did so versus 52 percent of girls. Older teens are also more likely than their younger peers to forge friendships online.

More than three quarters (76 percent) of teens use social media and 71 percent of all teens say they spend time interacting with friends on social media while 23 percent say they do so every day. In fact, 38 percent of teen boys share their gaming handle as one of the first three pieces of information they exchange when they meet someone they’d like to be friends with.

Rather than worrying about going out with friends or missing out the football game across the street, children now panic when they do not participate in online discussions, when their Facebook photo is not cool enough and they anxiety is paired with the constant pressure of maintaining a great reputation online.

“Teens still spend substantial amounts of time with friends in-person, especially at school”, said Amanda Lenhart, Pew Research Center associate director for research. Indeed, while more than 55 percent said they text every day, a much smaller group (19 percent) said they call their friends on the phone daily.

It comes as no surprise that teens are heavy users of social media and mobile phones.

‘Like it or not, this is where our teens talk, plot, laugh and fight with some of the most important people in their lives.’.

Six in 10 youngsters admit to having met at least 1 new friend on the Internet.

Additionally, they are more likely to block or unfriend people after a relationship breakup. “I know they have this game on Instagram where you’d be like, ‘do you trust me?” At least 13 percent of teenagers also get in touch with their peers by playing online videos together. Seventy-nine percent of all teens instant message their friends, with 27 percent saying they do so daily. Nearly half had been posted about in ways they couldn’t control – a group no doubt overlapping with the two-thirds who reported experiencing drama on social media. Eighty-eight percent feel that people tend to share too much information about themselves on social media. The statistics were drawn up between genders and the teenagers were inquired about their opinions on social media, along with the consequences and expectations that rise with their online life.


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