Once a week, I have a 12-year-old babysitter that comes to monitor my toddler as he sleeps, while my husband and I meet with a few of our neighbors a few houses down the street.
I let her use my laptop for entertainment and when I came home I noticed that she was on a social networking site called Gaia.
I asked her to explain it to me and she took me for a tour of the site, which can all be accessed through the browser (no special interface needed).
It was quite interesting and reminded me a little of Second Life with its avatars and social networking. So, a few days ago when the Pew Internet Research released its newest study about teens showing that more than half (55 percent) of all online American’s aged 12 to 17 use online social networking sites (pdf of report memo).
This means that half of all American teens can be considered content creators. A vast majority of teens (91 percent) use these sites as a way to keep in touch with real-life friends and with friends they rarely see in person (82 percent).
So, what happens when these content creators and social networkers enter the workforce in a few years?