Contrary to popular belief, the massive amount of time teenagers spend online does not necessarily mean they're destroying their minds and social skills while being lured to a deserted truckstop by a 50-year-old miscreant posing as a 14-year-old fellow Jonas Brothers fan. A new study by the MacArthur Foundation suggests—not very convincingly, but still—that the internet is giving kids "the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They're learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page."
If that doesn't persuade you of the value of years spent hunched over a flickering screen with the curtains drawn, just witness the intricate courtship rituals made possible by social networking sites. A girl featured in the study wrote on a boy's Facebook wall: "hey ... hm. wut to say? iono lol/well I left you a comment ... u sud feel SPECIAL haha." Boy responded with: "hello there ... umm I don't know what to say, but at least I wrote something ..." Needless to say, this inspiring pas de deux led to romance!
Oh, to be young again.