“Unless you know the person really well, they’re just some anonymous typist hiding behind a funny screen name,” said one 17-year-old boy from Maryland in an email exchange with the Pew Internet Project.
“I don’t see people at school and think that’s somebody I know from AOL.
Many American youth say that Internet communication, especially instant messaging, has become an essential feature of their social lives.
For them, face-to-face interaction and some telephone conversations have been partially replaced with email and instant message communication.
Maybe they say they live near you or like the same music as you.
They might leave comments on your posts or request to be your friend on a site.
His photos show the good-humored Latin American native — dark, handsome, and fit — in exotic destinations around the world, from Cairo to Capri.Nowhere does the profile state explicitly that if you are an attractive female traveler, you might skip the couch entirely and wind up in Riccardo’s bed, but it’s a good possibility.In eight months using the service, Riccardo, who is 32 and works for an ad agency, has let eight visitors crash at his apartment, of whom he’s hooked up with five, for a 62 percent “success rate.” If you count the additional two who climbed into bed with him for a cuddle and then fell asleep, the percentage climbs even higher. Whatever you like doing, if you use the internet you might have met people online who want to chat.With over 2 billion people on the internet there are plenty of people to meet.(Riccardo and other Couchsurfing users quoted in this article asked to be identified by pseudonyms.) On the business front, the crowdsourced hospitality site has been experiencing a rough patch lately.After a controversial transition to a for-profit model in 2011, which brought million in funding in the past two years, growing pains have set in.The icon is disguised as “My Utilities,” so no one will ever guess there are private photos tucked away in your phone.There is an “Intruder stopper” option plays fake video upon opening.Internet horror stories passed around on forums and other sites to disturb and frighten readers.Includes stories from Slender Man, a fictional character that inspired two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls to stab and nearly kill a friend.