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Internet: Get a date, read the lyrics, and even study

Sunday, October 29, 2000

By Caroline Abels, Post-Gazette Cultural Arts Writer

Although teen-agers need cash to buy video games, see all the latest movies and purchase new CDs, most Web sites are free and can be instantly accessed in the teens' own rooms while their parents are downstairs watching the evening news.

So assume that a teen can call up many of the sites that glorify violence, exploit women or delve into sophisticated issues. One or two provocative words typed into a search engine can get him there.

But what of the Top 10 sites among teens? For the most part, the sites Nielsen rated most-visited last month by kids age 12 to 17 (see list below) reflect what's already available in magazines, music, on TV and in the movies.

But did you know your son and daughter can call up one site and find out whether the hottie sitting next to them in math class wants to shag?

ecrush.com: This site allows you to send your crush an anonymous e-mail. If the crushee writes back to the site and mentions you as one of his crushes, you don't have to feel shy about making a move. The site claimed Tuesday that 1,034 people were matched that day. You also can send a greeting card featuring a variation on the word "shag." Tuesday's "pickup line of the day": "Does my tongue taste funny?"

lyrics.com: Click on a band or singer and clarify the words they're singing. Learn what Dave Matthews has to say about his girl ("Is it real or am I dreaming/Lovely lady I will treat you sweetly"). Learn what Eminem has to say about his girl ("Put your hands down, bitch, I ain't gonna shoot you/I'm gonna pull YOU to this bullet and put it thru you!")

sparknotes.com: A study guide for all sorts of high school subjects -- and No. 1 in popularity, according to Nielsen. Written by Harvard students.

alloy.com, gurl.com, iturf.com,bolt.com: Catch-all sites that offer celebrity news, dating advice and horoscopes. Take "The Slut Test" to find out if you are one. Read about teens involved in abusive relationships. Learn the diseases you could catch by French kissing or having anal sex. Visit a monitored chat room to commiserate with other teens.

seventeen.com, teenpeople.com: Regurgitations of what's in those magazines.

nsync.com: 'Nuff said.



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