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Social Media Makes Teens Aware Of Others' Needs, Study Says

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First Posted: 02/16/12 07:30 PM ET Updated: 02/17/12 01:19 PM ET

Here's something worth liking: Social media usage makes teens more aware of others' needs.

About 55 percent of teens ages 13 to 17 said Facebook and Twitter have opened their eyes to what others are experiencing, according to an online study conducted by Harris Interactive. And 91 percent felt it was important to volunteer in the community.

In addition, 68 percent of respondents said they felt the benefits of social media outweigh the risks of being on these sites, the press release states.

Teenage presence in online discourse has recently been seen online in video campaigns raising awareness about important issues, including suicide and "slut-shaming."

Jonah Mowry, for example, took to YouTube in December to share his personal struggle with bullying.

Now, the 14-year-old gay teen and his mother are preparing to speak at The Monster March Against Bullying event in San Francisco on Feb. 19, after reaching millions of viewers with his clip, the Orange County Register reports.

Charitable organizations have apparently seen the light, and have begun integrating fundraising tools into their social networking profiles to promote their causes and rally support.

Nonprofits that combined this technique with more traditional promotional methods, such as mailed pamphlets, have reported a 40 percent increase in their fundraising, USA Today noted in a 2011 report.

Social media sites other than Facebook and Twitter have also been known to bring users together for a good cause.

In December, a Reddit user reached out to the online community by posting an image gallery of his girlfriend's nephew, who needed a bone marrow transplant.

Along with the photos, he asked for donations to help out his family. Within hours, the Internet community had pitched in $31,000 for the cause. Just six days later, the total had risen to about $55,000.