Teens’ online friends=offline friends: Study

Fresh evidence this week that most teens use the Web to socialize with their "real life" friends – "people they already know rather than strangers who might turn out to be predators," USATODAY reports. A study of students in grades 9-12 by University of California researchers "will be presented at a meeting of the Society of Research in Child Development" this week, and similar findings were "published last year in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology." Among the former's key findings: For 44% of youth surveyed, using social network sites "had no effect on their relationship with their friends and 43% said it made them closer; 5% had "friends known only from the Internet."

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