Anyone who has teenaged kids is aware (or should be) of what they are doing online. I have a 17-year-old boy, and a 13-year-old girl. IM is a given, as is my son’s cell phone when he’s way from his laptop. When he’s online, he plays video games almost exclusively. Runescape is a favorite of his. Has a Facebook account but rarely uses it. Surfs the web somewhat, using it mostly as a info applicance. And he doesn’t pay much attention to video and photo sharing sites or to blogs.

My daughter couldn’t be more different. Sure IM and the cellphone are the same; but she and her friends are heavy text-messagers and photo snappers. (Things we’ve needed to put a bit of a limit on.) And they’ll all got active MySpace pages, and know YouTube and Flickr well. Surfs the web for the latests fashions, not caring whether she’s on a blog or a traditional website. She’s also very adept at using iTunes. Hasn’t bought a CD in years. And hasn’t touched a video game or online fantasy game since SimLife a couple of years ago.

Other parents I’ve talked to have notice something similar. With variations on the theme, most would agree that boys play more solitary games online, and that girls are much more social beings on the web. (Just think how much time they still spend on the phone, as compare to boys.)

But I didn’t give this much notice until a friend pointed out this article in The Guardian newpaper, which describes a study illustrating the digital divide between boys and girls. And a little surfing found this story at ABC News online which describes the study and its implications in greater detail.

Warning boys: seems like girls are staking out their own territory in the online gaming world — what used to be exclusive to you!