Avoiding the Awkward Moments Through IM

Could it be that instant-messaging is making those teen years a bit more bearable? A new poll shows that 43 percent of teens use instant-messaging to express something they wouldn't say face-to-face. Some use it to ask others on dates. Others use it to break-up.

While a bit frightening, this doesn't exactly mean that instant-messaging is creating a population of kids who use technology to avoid confrontation, discomfort and more of life's little unpleasantries. Plenty of people used parchment and quill for the same purposes years ago. They probably just took a little more time to pick their words.

Some other stats from the poll: Overall, nearly half of teens say they use the quick and easy form of communication. Ten percent use it for more than three hours a day. Which is so sad, since they could be using that time for more productive ends, like watching TV.—Gregory Mone