I can understand why kids get addicted to these things, as I use them myself. I am by no means addicted, but I can see how it happens. Facebook and other sites like these allow people to be connected at all times. It is a way to talk to people when you otherwise wouldn't be able to. The problem is that people have a hard time detaching themselves from these things. I think instead of fighting it, we need to teach people how to use it in a safe manner. I also think that as people get older, the glamour of these kinds of things will wear off and they will get back to reality and realize a face-to-face conversation is more valuable than chatting. Hopefully.
As the above post mentions, in virtual reality there is a sense of safety in writing one's opinions, etc. that does not exist in real life. Now, someone who would have to be cautious about insulting someone vis-a-vis can easily do it on in cyberspace. In addition, for some youths, "it does not count if you write things on the internet."
I hate to say it, but I think that the youth of today is so obsessed with social networking sites based upon the fact that they have a certain level of being anonymous on the sites. My school has had many issues with social networking sites and bullying. It seems that student gain a certain level of "guts" sitting behind a computer screen and not face-to-face with a person.
Outside of that, they are social creatures. They like to see what others are doing and talk about themselves.
When I was young you had to pick up the phone and call someone to talk, or meet them somewhere to hang out. Facebook, along with other social media and communications technology allows people (as many adults as young people, it seems to me) to do this from their own homes.
Here's a thought. Youth seems to be a time when people are exploring, developing, and expressing their identities. Facebook and other such social networking sites provide wonderful opportunities to do all three. Youth also tends to be a time when people are developing friendships and creating social networks for themselves. Facebook facilitates both kinds of activities.
I think that the technological component plays a factor here too. Young and old people alike spend a lot of time on computers doing necessary work, but socializing can be more enjoyable, hence the "addiction" to social networks. There is also a growing sense of "being connected" to others through these kinds of media. No one wants to feel left out of the loop, so they check in on their friends statuses and feel better.
For the same reason that young people are addicted to talking on the phone or hanging out with friends. This is the newest way of doing these things and young people have always been and always will be interested in them. Young people simply like to socialize.