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Teens Feel Happier with Internet

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Many Chinese teens feel most happy when they are surfing the Internet rather than spending time with family or friends, latest research on the country's post-90s generation has found.

The Shanghai Teenage Research Center polled 2,425 teens from elementary schools, junior high schools and senior high schools in the city to "explore the inner world" of those born between 1990 and 1999.

"We are always misunderstood by society," a number of the Shanghai teenagers in the study said.

The findings and responses were similar to the issues members of another age group had to face from older generations as they took their place in a changing society.

Members of the post-80s generation, or those born between 1980 and 1989, earlier bore the brunt of doubts expressed by older generations over their abilities and values in the face of modernity and commercialism.

Such skepticism has grown stronger toward the post-90s group, with criticisms found in media reports and the online community that label the young generation as an idle one.

An objective understanding of the post-90s group is necessary in light of these views, said Huang Hongji, a professor with the Shanghai Teenage Research Center who led the research project.

"Special attention should be paid to the emotional fluctuations of the teenagers. That is crucial," he said.

The changing environment of Shanghai, a modern metropolis with rapid social and economic development, is expected to further affect its teens.

Still, youngsters said the latest research results do not paint a completely accurate picture of today's teens.

"I like drawing and reading novels," said Chen Nuan, a final year junior high school student in Yangjingjuyuan experimental school.

"I like to spend some time on the Internet, but that is not all my life is about," she said. "I'd rather spend more time practicing my drawing, because I want to study fashion design in the future."

Chen also said she used to visit her grandmother regularly together with her parents, but she has not done so for a while because of the increasingly pressures of study.

However, many teenagers still resist spending time with their parents and family in these ways.

"I don't want to talk to them," said Wang Jingying, a first year high school student in Shanghai's Changning district. "I can't communicate with them effectively."

Wang said she has also been feeling a lot of pressure since she entered the high school last year.

"I don't have enough time to digest the content of my classes," she said.

"My schedule is full from Monday to Sunday."

(Xinhua News Agency February 4, 2010)

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