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"It is about identity production — how I fit into society, who am I, who are the cool teachers in school," she added.
"It's a new forum for hanging out that creates new publics.
"If parents don't know those, it doesn't mean they're old -- it just means they're not tuned into Internet culture." Jansen, on the other hand, says what she's offering is just the tip of the iceberg.The Web site, which is the fifth-most viewed in America, allows its 56 million members to create online profiles and correspond with people with similar interests.Boyd found that members, most of whom are teenagers, use the site to develop their identities and to meet friends or form new relationships."There are spikes in the amount of usage for each acronym, and regional variations," she adds."Something that's being used on the West Coast, for example, won't be in the East, and the South may use terms that aren't common in the Pacific Northwest.