Is MySpace the Teenage Parking Lot of Today?

myspace photo by dogface from flickrGone are the days of cruising the streets with friends and rendezvousing at midnight at the Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot to see what’s up.

55% of online teens use social networks and have created online profiles. Girls moreso than boys (70% of girls aged 15-17), according to the results of a Pew Internet & American Life Project poll released this week (summary | full report [.pdf]).

As today’s high school students grow up in an age where everything that pops is born and manifests online, the results of the study indicate a teenage culture where friends are made and maintained via MySpace (85%), Facebook (7%) and the like. But increased caution is being practiced (if it’s not forced by parents or the generally tasteless spam friend requests from MySpace) — nearly 60% of the 12-17-year-olds surveyed restrict the visibility of their profiles to friends only.

Also of note, no big discrepancies between teenaged social network users based on race or differences in household income. But only 17% admit to having ever used these sites for “flirting,” however that’s defined.

photo by dogseat via flickr.

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