eMarketer estimates that 82% of US teens (ages 12-17) and 43.5% of children (ages 3-11) will use the Internet on a monthly basis in 2009.

About 19% of active Internet users in July 2008 were under age 18. (Source: Nielsen Online)

71% of US teens have a mobile phone. (Source: The Pew Internet & American Life Project)

59% own a desktop or laptop computer. (Source: The Pew Internet & American Life Project)

The following chart shows how they communicate.

Teens expect to be able to navigate between social networks, text messaging, instant messaging and virtual worlds seamlessly. They want messages sent by one means to be accessible in another. In fact, the distinctions between online, offline, and mobile communications are meaningless to many teens. They want simple means of communicating that are engaging.

The trick for most parents is to even understand what this fast-moving audience is doing.

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