I have often riffed about the way that technology human nature and social rules are not changing but that new technology was changing culture but not social ties and interaction. I thought this article did a nice job pointing out that dynamic. Teens are teens but they are now teens with tech.
Macquarie University researcher Natalie Robinson studied the texting habits of 100 young people aged 18-35 and found SMS messaging increased when relationships were beginning or going through a rocky period.
Robinson said couples, fearing rejection, wanted to avoid direct contact when their relationships were strained.
"People used text messages to show their negative feelings rather than talking face-to-face," she said. "This might be because text messages were less confrontational and more distant."
The clinical psychologist said she was surprised to find 15 percent of participants had dumped a partner via text messages.
Robinson said one of her friends had been ditched in a text message and found it an unpleasant experience.
"She was very angry because it was so impersonal and because they had been together for a couple of years," she said.
Overall, women were more likely to send texts telling their partner how they were feeling, while men were more comfortable with practical texts such as "I'll pick up dinner on the way home".
Not really the kind of way most social organizers and issue leaders would think about talking to the networks of young people.