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Children, Adolescents, and the Internet

Since the commercialization of the Internet in the 1990s, new media technologies have become an increasingly integral part of the lives of American youths. This entry examines how the Internet affects children and adolescents in three critical areas: (1) skill formation and academic learning, (2) social relationships and dating, and (3) the safety issues they face online.

A Glance at the Facts

In 2015, 91% of American adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 years used the Internet, with 9 out of 10 online almost every day, and more than half several times a day. The new generation of American youths has been called “digital natives” because they use smartphones, computers, tablets, and game consoles, and they spend much of their lives in the virtual world, ...

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