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David

Not All Teens Turn To Social Media When They're Lonely

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AMES, Iowa – Technology is so pervasive it may seem as if teens spend more time on social networking sites than in real conversations with friends. New research challenges that assumption and finds some teens, especially when they feel lonely, prefer face-to-face interactions over social media.

The findings are encouraging given that 80 percent of teens say they constantly feel lonely, said Rui Chen, associate professor of information systems in Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business. The study, published in the journal Information and Management, offers a deeper understanding of why some teens use social media when they’re lonely, and found a striking difference based on gender. Chen says girls tended to interact directly with friends, while boys in the study defaulted to Facebook.

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