A recent study of of 8 to 15-year-olds found that 40% of girls identified Facebook as one of the most important things in their lives — more influential than TV, magazines and celebrities. Hmm.
On the upside, Facebook is all about networking and socializing with your friends. So if these young girls don't rank celebrities higher than their peers, that could be a positive. The downside: You're not even supposed to be on Facebook unless you're 13. Oops.
Certainly communication is a valuable tool. In the olden days (the '80s!), kids passed notes in class and talked on the phone after school. Facebook is the updated version, except more public and more isolating, in a way — you can have exchanges with people without seeing their reaction, hearing their voice and learning to analyze the subtext, tone and expressions humans have during face-to-face contact.
But you know, when it comes right down to it, life is about human interactions. So if girls were asked for the "most important things" in their lives, and answered, "friends, family and Facebook," well, perhaps they will grow up to be communicative, empathetic and articulate women. Unlike the boys, who ranked "money" second, after family and before friends.