More than 80 percent of kids have an online journal that they share with friends they've never actually met in person. That's according to a new survey.
That survey also finds that one in four kids say their internet friendships are equally or more important than friends they met person.
Experts say on one hand these internet relationships give kids and opportunity to try out different personalities online. Dr. Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology says, "Kids are struggling to find out who they are. And who they are is in a lot of dimensions. Who they are personally, what their skills are, but mostly it's who they are in a social context, and that's why these online social worlds like MySpace, all of these kinds of social worlds helps develop their ability to interact with people, and particularly, to do things like post a comment that might be a little controversial for example, and see what kind of reactions they get."
But, he adds, that just like most things in life, moderation is key. "Because being in the virtual world, being in front of a screen all day is NOT sufficient for good teenage socialization. You need to have a combination of a screen life, and a real life. And so a good parent will make some sort of boundaries that say okay, you can have screen time, but after a certain amount of screen time you have to have some real outdoor time. Or some real communication time. And you can't talk on the phone, it has to be face to face. You have to come talk to me, you have to go outside and hang out with some friends - you have to do something that's in the real world."