According to a recent poll, social networks have become teens’ new malls because they prefer to spend much more time on the Internet than engaging in face to face conversations. These new practices have led to new preoccupations among teenagers, who wanted to enjoy a good reputation among their online friends.
The Internet was once considered a dangerous zone, particularly for teenagers and children who could have become victims of sexual harassment. The perception has changed significantly in the past years with many more teens willing to make friends on the Internet.
The study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that very few people consider the Internet as a distinct and separate part of their real lives. On the contrary, social interactions have become just as meaningful as real life interactions due to the increasing confidence that young adults show to this type of communications.
Six in 10 respondents, who have taken part in the poll, have confessed that they have made at least one friend on the Internet, whereas 29% of them have made more than five friends using the same means of communication.
Researchers have concluded, based on these new results that teenagers have replaced regular malls with social networks where they chat, laugh and talk with other users much in the same way older generations used to do in real life interactions. Consequently, it has become all the more important to maintain a good reputation on the Internet; hence, users’ obsession with their online profiles and their pictures.
The main factor leading towards an increase in social interactions is the popularity that smartphones and technology in general are enjoying at present. Three quarters of teenagers own a smartphone, according to recent findings, the majority have social media accounts and are involved in all sorts of online games.
Although there are many online apps that teenagers can use, the poll has revealed that more than half of the respondents consider texting as the most reliable source of online communication. The same respondents have admitted to texting their friends every day, whereas three quarters send text messages every other day.
Social interactions are usually based on certain common interests that Internet users share, be they online games, music or movies. As a consequence, it is much easier for them to start a conversation based on this new subject and thus, make new friends, researchers have concluded.
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