The Pew Internet and American Life Project does outstanding research into many topics related to technology use among various demographic groups. One of their latest reports
involved focus groups with over 800 teens to learn more about how they are using social media today and what’s changed over the last few years.
Findings indicate that while teens are sharing personal information online, many are actively using privacy settings and “pruning” strategies to protect and manage their online reputations and profiles:
- Teens are sharing more personal information about themselves than in the past, including high numbers of teens who use their real names and share photos, school names, cell phone numbers, email address, hometown, and more. There are some differences by gender and age group.
- 24% of teens are now using Twitter, up from 16% in 2011, and most keep their profiles public.
- Teens are less enthusiastic about Facebook than they were before, due to things like “drama” and minutia shared by friends; however, they continue using it for fear of missing out on something.
- 60% of teens keep their Facebook profiles private and are confident in their abilities to manage their privacy settings.
- Teens’ Facebook friends are often friends they know from school or are family members, and 70% say they are friends with their parents on Facebook.
- Teens are actively managing their online identities by deleting negative or unwanted comments from others, unfriending people, and otherwise distancing themselves from people or content they consider harmful to their online reputations.
- 40% of teens are concerned about what personal information may be used by businesses or advertisers.
If you have teens and want to learn more about using social media safely, please check out our Self-Paced Learning page
for a list of online tutorials on these topics, or browse our catalog for related books
. Technology coaching sessions are also available by calling 385-0150.