Children are still talking with friends but more and more of these conversations are in the form of abbreviated snatches of cell phone texts and instant messages, or through the very public forums of Facebook or something similar.
Research is beginning to question whether all the texting and messaging and online social networking is allowing children to be connected and supportive of their friends or whether friendship interactions are lacking the intimacy and emotional give and take of regular face to face time. With less face to face time there is concern that children maybe missing out on experiences that help them develop empathy, understand emotional nuances and read facial and body language cues.
On the other hand, those who also study friendships believe that technology allows children to be continuously connected to their friends resulting in their friendships being closer. Technology can also assist the usually shy child to have the confidence to reach out and develop friendships.
For now it is clear that more research needs to be done to assess the shift in the way children are communicating with their friends and what this shift means to the emotional quality of a relationship.
A Youtube video from Will Jay named @nti-social Media, just to get you thinking.