Kids online: parents, don’t panic

It used to be the shopping centre or park bench – now teens spend hours hanging out on Snapchat or Instagram. Don’t worry: they’re just forging their own brave new worldOne evening, in September 2010, I was in the stands at a high school football game in Nashville, Tennessee, experiencing a powerful sense of deja vu. As a member of my high school’s marching band in the mid-90s, I had spent countless Friday nights pretending to cheer on the football team so that I could hang out with my friends. As I sat in the stands, I thought: the more things had changed, the more they seemed the same.Most of the student body was seated, but they were barely paying attention to what was happening on the field. They were facing one another, chatting, enjoying a rare chance to spend unstructured time together.

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