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How Does Modern Technology Impact Teens?

Teens all over the world are growing up in a world in which the Internet, cell phones, text messaging and other technology dominates their communication and are an integral part of everyday life. I was a teenager when AIM got big and remember how quickly everyone in my age group got addicted to chatting online. Today there is all this hype about very public breakups using modern technology, but apparently, not every teen is lost in a cyber world.

According to a researcher at Harris Interactive, teens utilize different modes of communication in different social contexts. When the tone of a communication is serious, such as arguing and breaking up with someone, teens realize that communication tools may not be the best avenue of discussion.

  • Two in three teens (67%) would not break up with someone and two in five (42%) would not argue with a friend over phones, email, instant messaging, text messaging, or social networking sites.
  • When choosing a communication tool, teens will most likely choose to use cell phones and landline phones to talk to a friend about something serious or important (cell phone 34%, landline phone 23%); apologize to a friend (cell phone 22%, landline phone 20%); or break up with someone (cell phone 14%, landline phone 9%).
  • For more survey results, just


  • About one in three teens say they are not comfortable gossiping, sharing secrets or having private conversations using phones, email, instant or text messaging.
  • Teens feel more comfortable discussing touchy subjects when using instant messaging (29%), than cell phones (14%), text messaging (11%) and social networking websites (10%).
  • Overall, teens are most comfortable using cell phones, instant messaging and landline phones to have a private conversation (cell phone 29%, instant messaging 16%, landline phone 15%), sharing a secret (cell phone 25%, instant messaging 11%, landline phone, 14%) and gossiping (cell phone 17%, instant messaging 17%, landline phone 14%). Teens are also more likely to hear rumors about people through instant messaging (31%) and social networking website (27%).
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