Well, maybe not all teens, but I mistakenly thought that something like 80% or 90% of teens were strongly into social networking sites like Myspace and such, given how much you hear about the two being connected.

So I was a little surprised with the release of the Pew Internet and American Life report last week that found only 58% of all teens have profiles on social networking sites (and only 60% of Internet-using teens). This was much lower than my expectation.

Compared to their non-social networking teen peers, social networking teens are actually more avid communicators across the board, according to the report. Contrary to some previous reports, this survey found, for instance, that 44% of social networking teens spent daily time in person with friends outside of school, compared to only 31% of non-social networking teens — a 13% difference. Social networking teens also spend more daily time sending text messages, talking on any type of phone, sending IMs, and sending emails.

This may seem like a “no duh” moment — social networking attracts people who enjoy social communications. No duh.

You’d think, however, that if a person was spending more time online and more time updating their profiles and such, they’d have less time to see friends face-to-face, or spend less time talking on their phone. But that’s not what this survey showed.

Interesting stuff. This and other insights you can find in the full 83 page report, entitled Writing, Technology and Teens (PDF).