The Impact of Social Networking on Friendships in 14-21 Year Olds (Gen Y)
Research by MySpace reveals interesting things about how 14-21 year olds regard social networking and their online friends:
“The MySpace study asked social networking users between the ages of 14 and 21 (aka “Generation Y”) questions about their interactions both on social networks and in their real life, too. Some 36% of the respondents said they found it easier to talk about themselves online than in the real world, leading them to share more about themselves using technology. This group also felt that their online friends knew more about them, and so, in a sense, were closer than offline friends because they all knew what was going on in each other’s lives. Outside of the social networking sites, the survey respondents overwhelmingly felt ill-at-ease in social groups. A whopping 72% said they felt “left out” and didn’t think they fit into any particular group. More than four-fifths (82%) said they moved between four or more different groups of friends in an effort to find acceptance.
In many ways, easy access to technology can be seen as both a blessing a curse for this young group of digital natives. These days, you’ll often encounter teens having text message conversations or posting status updates while ignoring the very friends they’re presently with in the real world. Behavior like this could certainly send a message to the others that they are second priority to whomever else has engaged their friend’s attention. That could easily lead to feelings of being “left out” as reported in this study.”