Shock Study: Kids Now Feel More Comfortable Online Than Offline

This is just what Alone Together predicted: people, particularly young people, feeling more comfortable with themselves online than they are offline. Black is white, up is down, and the Mets are a well-run organization. The study comes to us by way of Kidscape, a children’s charity.

The story is that 45 percent of 11-to-18-year-olds said they were happier online than offline, and the reasons why are as you’d expect. These youngsters say it’s “easier to be who you want to be, because nobody knows you and if you don’t like the situation you can just exit and it is over.”

What I’d like to know is, what kind of “situations” are these kids finding themselves in? Surely if you have an interest in basketball you’ll visit basketballs message boards. If you’re into comic books you visit comic book blogs. Just like in real life, if you’re not into music you probably wouldn’t wander into a music store (not that those exist anymore), if you’re not into whatever why would you visit a whatever site?

Boggles the mind.

Other chilling stats:

• 47 percent of these kids admit to behaving differently online than offline

• 60 percent of these kids admit to lying about their age

• 40 percent of these kids admit to being dishonest about their personal relationships

• 10 percent of these kids admit to “[changing] aspects of their appearance and their personality for their online activity”

I guess it would be silly to ask if kids still read in 2011, right?

Oh dear.