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Some who say that use of the Internet takes time away from friends argue that this is balanced by the increased level of communication young people have with friends who live too far away for regular face-to-face meetings.
Intimate conversations sometimes seem easier than those that take place face-to-face.
Teens say this can be very helpful, especially in otherwise awkward situations or at times when they are too shy to speak.
Conversely, relationships with friends and romantic partners are sometimes hurt or destroyed because of misunderstandings sparked by the very voiceless aspects of Internet communication that make it attractive to youth.
Pat doesn’t worry about what you look like or what people say about you. Of course this could also be a bad thing, because it’s easy to manipulate someone online.
But I choose to believe in the better of the two situations.” To others, appearance still matters a great deal.
“Unless you know the person really well, they’re just some anonymous typist hiding behind a funny screen name,” said one 17-year-old boy from Maryland in an email exchange with the Pew Internet Project.