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Perhaps because they have spent more time online and have become more familiar with digital platforms, older teens are more likely than younger teens to have made friends online: 60% of those ages 15 to 17 vs. Older boys are especially likely to have made friends online (67% have done so).

Hispanic teens (64%) are more likely than whites (53%) to have made friends online. Typical was one middle school boy in our focus groups who explained, “I met him – [he’s] from Africa or something.

Among those who play games online with others daily, roughly three-quarters (74%) have made friends online and 37% have made more than five friends online.

By contrast, among teen gamers who never play with others online, just 40% have made any friends online, and only 20% have made more than five friends online.

Interviewer: So somebody tried to become your friend and that was really weird. wanted to become a friend.” Teens’ access to — and use of — various technology platforms is tightly linked with their tendency to make friends online.

Specifically, teens who use networked online environments like gaming or social media platforms tend to be more likely to make friends online than other teens.

While many teen boys also make friends on social media sites (31%), they are substantially more likely than teen girls to make friends while playing video games online. 14%) to have met someone in person after becoming friends online.

About one-third of all teen boys (34%) have met friends while playing a video game online, compared with just 7% of teen girls. We were like, hey, do you want to hang out with some of my friends? Although boys ages 15 to 17 are the subgroup most likely to have made friends online, they are significantly more likely than girls of the same age to have met people in person with whom they first connected online (24% vs. Teens in our focus groups talked about the process of meeting online friends in person. I’ve met some from Ohio, Indiana, New York, Wyoming and Colorado through Twitter and Instagram.” For other teens, such distance is a roadblock to in-person meetings.

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Six-in-ten teens with smartphone access (60%) have made friends online, compared with 48% of those who do not use smartphones.When it comes to social media — another major networked environment in teens’ lives — teenage social media users are more than twice as likely as those not on social media to have made online friends (61% vs. And, as is the case with gaming, social media use is heavily correlated with making a relatively large number of friends online.Fully 31% of teen social media users have made more than five friends online, compared with just 10% of teens who do not use social media.Fully 72% of all teens ages 13 to 17 play video games on a computer, game console or portable device.Teen gamers play video games in a variety of ways and with a variety of companions; 83% play with others in person and 75% play with others online.

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