Teenager here. I can't bike down the street at night and throw pebbles at a girl's window, nor can I sneak out of the house in the dark and go to the party down by the lake. These teenage movie utopias are not a reality-- at least not today. I don't see my friends out of school, and if I do it's in the basement of a pair of ignorant parents, and I'm wading through vomit and unconscious white kids.
Otherwise, I'm sitting at home, swimming in the fears, anxieties, and responsibilities of the modern kid. We're studying all day to be pushed into the 'real world' with a sticker saying "I successfully followed orders." Drugs, alcohol, parties, they're media for escape. Hanging out has been diluted to a chance to get the fuck out of the house. I genuinely feel like I have no choice but to message my friend on Facebook instead of meeting for lunch. Our life, our school system does not give us the time and opportunity to discover and interact with the world. It gives us busy work to stay out of trouble and focus on our priorities. By that I mean, the priorities we were assigned.
So, cue the internet. A reflection of the real world in its hulking, gargantuan entirety. Fast. Really fast. Ideas thoughts data flowing in and out 24 hours a day, subcultures springing up like mushrooms and a community for everyone. Freedom. The Real World, and the icing on the cake is that its sitting in my lap, covered by my bio textbook. The answer is, it doesnt matter that the internet is easier than the coffee shop.It's simply that the internet is everything, its all of it, and with our friends constantly signed in, we can pretend its all we could possibly want.
I don't think you can deny the disparity in online communication in comparison to looking someone in the face. There's nothing quite like talking to somebody, in fact the very act of typing in a chat is the use of text as a substitution and representation of actual speech. It's not the same, and us 'teenagers' know that. But the pace of the world isn't going to skip a beat for us to fit in an hour or two for the movies. If it ever does, you bet we'll seize the chance and go overboard and get shitfaced at aparty instead, every single time. In the mean time, we'll be checking our notifications.