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Is E-Mailing, Texting, and Chatting Online Really So Bad for Teens?

While many a parental unit is concerned about his or her teenager's constant texting, instant messaging and Internet surfing, as well as the impact such activities could have on a developing personality, researchers at the MacArthur Foundation are assuring parents that the kids are alright, the New York Times reports.

Much of the cause for parents' trepidation, according to lead researcher Mizuko Ito, is a basic confusion about how kids are spending time online. Primarily, Ito says, kids are socializing with friends, not making themselves vulnerable to "stranger danger."

Conducted over a three-year period, the study demonstrates the extent to which new media -- including cell phones and social networking sites -- have become integral to young people's social lives. Far from calling this a problem, Ito claims that this new form of socialization prepares kids for the tech-heavy work environments they will undoubtedly encounter in their later years.

If Ito is, in fact, correct in her assessment, and this article is correct in its own, it might be Facebook that winds up getting us out of this economic crisis. [From: The New York Times]

Tags: facebook, parenting, research, social-networking, studies, study, teens, web