Why Can't We Stop Talking?
Why do teens have this need to be in constant communication with one another?
If we're not talking on our cell phones, we're updating our MySpace.com profiles. If we're not chatting on Instant Messenger, we're sending out text messages.
So what gives?
The general consensus from teens around Moore County is that we need to feel like we belong. We need to know that, even though we don't contribute to society as much as older people, we are still doing something worthwhile.
"(MySpace) makes us feel mature," said Sierra Bunnell, a student at Union Pines. "Kids like MySpace because it is their own Web page, their own outlet."
Since it started in 2004, MySpace has grown to 47.3 million members, and that site is by far the most popular social networking service among teens. Teens join sites like MySpace.com and use online chat services like AOL Instant Messenger or Skype because we want to be seen and heard.
Most teenagers believe that they are who they talk to. Having people around us that want to listen to what we have to say makes us feel good and boosts our self-esteem.
Not only do teens want to know people, but we also want to be known by people.
"We are eager to find out who has commented on our page," said Annabelle Yang, a Union Pines student who has her own MySpace profile.
While teens are more likely to use sites like MySpace to leave short messages or keep in touch with friends from out of town, we use cell phones for most of our day-to-day communications.
According to a youth survey conducted in December, teens are more likely to use their cell phones to arrange meetings with friends, to have quick conversations, and to invite people to a party or event.
Unlike our parents (who grew up with just one phone in the house), about every teenager has a cell phone attached to a hip for any emergency calls or texts.
But, when you are a teenager, it is your duty to express yourself as you never have before -- and probably never will afterward. So never, ever stop talking.
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