Two articles by Pew Internet & American Life Project: "The Strength of Internet Ties" and "Social Networking Sites and Teens" illustrate how teenagers in the U.S.A. employ the Internet and social networking sites to communicate with other people. The article claims that most American teens enjoy using MySpace and Facebook. MySpace is open for everyone, no limit to age, school, or group, while Facebook focus on closed friends who we know before or in the same school or same group. To me, I just sign up Facebook recently. At first I didn't want to have both Facebook and MySpace because I saw this comic that I post in this blog and I feel that I don't want to be like this. After you have your own sites, you have to maintain them and keep checking and updating them. To me, it takes time and seems worthless. Now I have Hi5 and MSN messenger blog (spaces.live.com).
Teens use social networking sites to maintain relationships with old friends both often see or rarely see each other. Some of teenagers use sites to flirt other people and make new friends. For people who are not teenager, they use social networking sites to ask for help, questions, or make big decisions. I think the way we use the sites is different and depend on your purpose. When I was young, I enjoyed talking on telephone with my friends several hours per day. When I grew up, I don't talk to my friends often like in the past. We sometimes chat online via MSN or ICQ and send an email. Later, we don't chat at all. I just online MSN and if I see their name online, I know that they're okay. So, that's it.
I believe that online communities change our communication method. In the past, we use local phones and then now we use cell phones. When I stayed in Thailand, I think how I can survive or how I contact my friends when I go out without cell phones. Now I am here in the U.S.A., I can live without cell phone. It's okay to me. However, I believe that cell phone is the main factor in our lives, especially teens. Another interesting point from the article is email. To me, email is more important than cell phone. If I don't have time to check email, I feel I miss something in my life. Now we can check email from PDA, cell phone, or Blackberry. It's very convenient. Sometimes I like to communicate with email because it's asynchronous and I have time to think before I send it out. Now we have many ways to communicate to other people and show off yourself to the world. It depends on individual who uses it.