“A new report on ‘Teens, Technology and Friendships‘ from the Pew Foundation puts an unusually positive spotlight on the online lives of teenagers as they build friendships and connections in a digital world. Teenagers aged 13 to17 are finding ways to strengthen their relationships with real-world friends as well as making new friends through social media, video gaming, messaging apps and other virtual connectors,” writes New York Times reporter KJ Dell’Antonia
This is not the usual story of teenagers in the online realm. Where are the dire warnings about how the online world is depriving our teenagers of their opportunity to learn the skills needed to interact with people instead of screens while exposing them to all manner of bullying and cruelty, and tempting them to fritter away endless hours playing video games?
“This does challenge some of the traditional zeitgeist we have around youth and media,” said Amanda Lenhart, associate director of research at the Pew Research Center and the lead author of the report. “Adults have tended to see time online for teenagers as this frivolous, time-wasting thing that’s just entertainment. But what we found is that it’s crucial for teenagers in forming and maintaining these really important relationships in their lives.”
Today’s Question: Do you think teens are wasting too much time online?