Teens favor face-to-face over Facebook: survey
By Robert MacPherson, AFP
June 27, 2012, 12:16 am TWN
WASHINGTON -- For all the time they spend online, and it's a lot, nearly half of U.S. teenagers say they'd much rather spend time with friends in the real world, a major survey published Tuesday indicated.
Nine out of 10 young Americans aged 13 to 17 who took part in the national survey for Common Sense Media, a San Francisco think tank, acknowledged using some form of social networking.
Seventy-five percent maintained a social networking site of their own, with Facebook far and away the most popular choice, and 51 percent checked their sites at least once a day.
Yet 49 percent identified seeing friends in person as their favorite way to communicate with them, mostly because "it's more fun" and "I can understand what people really mean better this way."
Thirty-three percent favored texting, while only 7 percent preferred a social networking site — and in a sign of how times have changed, a mere four percent favored talking over the telephone.
"Teens see new technology as a supplement for communicating with people, rather than a replacement," said Victoria Rideout, a San Francisco consultant who wrote up the findings.
"It's a way to maintain a connection when you're not together in person ... (and) that's an important context for us to have as we think about kids and social media," she told AFP in a telephone interview.
Common Sense Media was founded by Jim Steyer, a civil rights lawyer, Stanford University professor and father of four, to stimulate a far-ranging debate on the impact of social media, for better or worse, on families today.