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Peter Schoonmaker

Are social networks shifting back from virtual to real? I have a small sample size (three teenage kids, and two college classes that I teach) but I sense from all of them that the new trend is spending face time rather than cruising Facebook.

Myspace and Facebook are now a backdrop in my oldest kid's life, after being an obsession. Warcraft was my middle kid's reality and community two years ago. Now he's moved on (to other virtual obsessions and to real keggers). The youngest just wants tactile stuff: catch fish, tackle running backs, touch girls.

And my college students say they are spending less time on line and more time hanging out with each other. The virtual world isn't going away for any of them, but their initial infatuation phase seems to be waning to a steady-state daily use phase.

Again, it's a small sample size...

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