School isn’t the only place teens are making friends these days. A new survey from the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of Americans teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have made at least one friend online while nearly one in three claim to have made more than five friends over the Internet.
For parents with teens, that’s probably not much of a surprise.
Data shows that boys are more likely to strike up an online friendship than girls, but not by much: 61 percent of boys compared to 52 percent of girls have done so. Pew also found that older teens are more likely to use the web to meet new people versus younger teens.
Here’s another no-brainer: teens are using social media sites like Facebook and Instagram to strike up new friendships.
Online gaming is also popular among today’s youth. Pew notes that 72 percent of teens polled play video games and that 36 percent have met new friends while playing online.
Curiously enough, most of the friendships that are made online stay online. Pew found that only 20 percent of teens have met an online friend in person.
Modern technology also has a major impact on teens’ daily lives. Data shows that teens are spending less time hanging out with friends in person and more time texting. Predictably, talking on the phone and e-mailing aren’t common these days.