10 things you don't know about teens and social networking
By Sarah B. Weir
Its 10 pm, do you know where your children are? Whether at home or out, odds are they are online and social networking. Even if parents do see what their kids post, they might not understand how living life online actually feels. Facebook Me, an original play written and performed by teens at the upcoming New York International Fringe Festival is a revealing exploration of what's going on behind millions of young people's computer screens.
I recently sat down with the cast (whose names have been changed below) and asked them to share about their experiences with social networking. I also spoke with a professor specializing in the psychology of technology, who offers some timely advice for parents. What the kids had to say:
"There's more 'life' happening online than offline. If you are not online, you are completely out of the loop--you don't have a life, you don't really exist."
--Hannah, 13 years old
"I'm online even during class. I'm supposed to be taking notes but instead I'm commenting on stuff and uploading pictures."
--Emma, 14 years old
"I feel safer online than I do offline. So I do things online that I wouldn't do in real life."
--Sadie, 14 years old
"I've become very good at taking pictures of myself. I know what angle is best, I know how to part my lips...you know. It's like the number one thing on my mind is 'I need to get home right now and take a new profile picture.' All because I want someone to comment on how I look."
--Katie, 15 years old
"Social networking affects all the...