Teens avoid awkward conversations with IM

An estimated 43 percent of teens who instant message use the tool for emotionally charged conversations, according to a new poll.

Feeling sheepish about having an awkward conversation with a friend or loved one? For teens, the answer is to have that talk over instant chat, according to a new poll.

An estimated 43 percent of teens who instant message use the tool for emotionally charged conversations, according to a poll from AOL and the Associated Press that was released Thursday. Those conversations might include making and breaking dates.

The poll--which questioned 410 teens and more than 800 parents--found that 22 percent of teens use IM to ask people out on a date or accept one, and 13 percent of teens use instant chat to break up. Girls are also more likely to use IM to avoid uncomfortable talks. According to the poll, about half of girls and more than a third of boys said they've used instant chat to say what they wouldn't say in person.

The findings show that nearly half of the teens--ages 13 to 18--use IM. And 10 percent say they spend three hours or more daily firing off messages to friends. In contrast, about 20 percent of adults use the technology. And the high-rate adult users say they spend an hour and half with IM a day.

With that much time on IM, messy conversations are bound to happen.

 

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