Yesterday, we had a colleague over to work on a joint project. She brought her 11 year old daughter with her (just shy of qualifying as a teen). She walked in the door, sat down at the computer (after politely asking if she could use it), and sat there for four hours logged onto an online community, busy sharing videos and messages and other interactions that we are too unconnected from the scene to understand.

Four hours in the same room with three other people, and she didn’t instigate an interaction even once.

Not so coincidentally, reported that an enormous study (4299 respondents from United Kingdom, Spain, and Japan), showed that indeed, teens felt just about as close to their Internet buddies as they did to their families. Is the Internet taking teens away from the family sphere? Or is it simply a replacement for other activities (hanging out with friends, etc.) that they would be doing anyway? It’s your turn to weigh in on whether or not you think this development is positive. (More than one answer is fine).