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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Technology and teenagers

Parents: Take steps to plug into your young person's life

For today's teens, relationships don't always hinge on face-to-face contact.

Instead, social media websites such as Facebook and Myspace let youth spark and sustain their friendships silently via the Internet. And when it comes to connecting with others, teens are more likely to tap out a private text message than talk on the phone or ring a doorbell, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

designpicsMonitoring the digital lives of tech-savvy teens can be a challenge for many parents, said Andrew H. Arnold, who serves as "tech geek" for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network, a national group of adult youth ministry leaders. "Technology is a part of life for kids, but parents have a wide variance in their level of comfort with it," he said.


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