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Surprise! Inspirational Text Messages Won’t Improve Teens’ Grades

Think twice before sexting, unfortunately. (Photo: Gregor Richardson, ODT)

All those “Good Luck!” texts you’ve been sending your teen on test day aren’t doing a damn thing, science says.

We could have told you that anyway, but Harvard University economist Roland Fryer actually conducted an experiment to study the effects of inspirational texts on teens’ grades. Yes, this sounds like the most productive use of a Harvard economist’s time. Read More

teens these days

Even the Internet Can’t Tear Teens and Malls Apart

Besties. (Photo: Getty)

Despite the convenience of online shopping, teens are still heading to malls in droves. Where else are they supposed to harass old people and flagrantly make out?

A study found that 78 percent of girls and 75 percent of boys said they’d rather shop in brick-and-mortar stores than online, Pew Research Center reports. Behind the study are the grownups at Minneapolis investment bank Piper Jaffray, who regularly take stock of teens’ spending patterns and entertainment habits because you kids keep them young. Read More

Teen Beat

Teach Your Spoiled Teen About the Undocumented Experience With Text Messages

"I want to lead a country one day for all I know." -- America's teens.

It’s hard for privileged American teenagers to wrap their hormone-addled brains around the struggles of their fellow human beings. And so, the Daily News reports, the youth advocacy group Do Something has created a text messaging game, in a heroic (but possibly quixotic?) attempt to get kids born here in the U.S. to understand what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant.

Because if a single American teenager picked up a newspaper of his own volition, the world might literally stop turning. Read More

Planet Reddit

Rebellious Tweens Split From Teenagers Subreddit So They Can Curse and Post Porn, Okay? God.

(Photo: QuickMeme)

Taking to the Internet to express the angst of youth is a long-heralded pasttime that will no doubt be bequeathed to generations to come. Once there were the Xangas and the Livejournals of yore, but these days teens frequently flock to outlets like Tumblr and Twitter to subtumbl and subtweet their little hearts out about how unfair it is that their parents made them help carry in the groceries when they were like, right in the middle of something. 
Read More

The Youngs

Guess What, Underachievers: In Palo Alto, Even Teens Have Startups

Yes, we know that's SoCal.

Decades of movies and television shows set in California high schools have given us certain expectations about what it’s like to be a teenager on the West Coast. Without getting too side-tracked in the thickets of stereotype, we’re envisioning beaches and bonfires and, at the very least, the occasional joint. (Also a little light vampire-slaying.)

Not Palo Alto, though. In Silicon Valley, high schoolers found startups. Feel bad about your wasted youth yet?

The New York Times stopped by Palo Alto High for a meeting of the Paly Entrepreneurs Club, where a bunch of kids who can barely drive and damn sure can’t drink are scheming on bright entrepreneurial futures: Read More

Kids Today

Look, a Couple of Teenagers Who Don’t Care About Facebook

Actually, where can we get those glasses? (flickr.com/julietbanana)

Bad news, guys. The LA Times thinks Facebook might be losing its cool factor among the youth. And once you lose the teenagers, well, you’ve basically lost the Internet. That’s how it works, right?

Reports the Times:

With more than 900 million users, Facebook remains the most popular online hangout. But some young people are turning their attention elsewhere. They are checking out new mobile apps, hanging out on Tumblr and Twitter, and sending plain-old text messages from their phones. Their goal is to hook up with smaller circles of friends and share their thoughts and feelings away from the prying eyes of Mom and Dad.

Except, well, the numbers aren’t really there to support such a sweeping conclusion. Says one researcher: “Just because teens are using other services like Twitter and Tumblr more — and they are using these services in huge amounts — doesn’t mean they’re using Facebook less.” Also, 93 percent of teens who use social networking sites have a Facebook account.  Read More