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Children, Technology, Problems, and Preferences


Please address correspondence to: Barry A. Farber, Box 102, Program in Clinical Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027. E-mail:


Increasingly, young people are using various forms of technology in the service of communicating with others, and many have noted the possibility of various dire consequences of this phenomenon, including sexting, cyberbullying, online harassment, and Internet addiction. In our own survey of over 300 adolescents, we found that texting and face-to-face communication were considered the most “convenient” forms of communication, while face-to-face communication and phone conversations were perceived as most likely to lead to “feeling understood” and “feeling intimate.” Face-to-face communication and texting were perceived as most likely to result in feeling regret for sharing too much information. By choosing to communicate through technology, many young people, including our patients, can continue to be social and, at the same time, keep a somewhat safer emotional distance.