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Surprise! Teens Love Using Social Media to Share Things

Posted on 5.21.2013

It looks like teenagers love to share things more than we thought – it just so happens that they prefer to do it on the Internet.

According to a new study from Pew Internet, teens are more than willing to share a bunch of information about themselves on social media sites, although most (wisely) attempt to restrain themselves by taking steps to restrict and prune their profiles.

In studying 802 teens, Pew found that teen Twitter growth has grown by eight percent since 2011, and that the average teenage Twitter users typically have about 79 followers (and Facebook users have about 300 friends). Most teens (64 percent) also prefer to have public Twitter accounts.

Facebook, however, is waning in popularity amongst young adults, with many teens claiming adult presence, excessive sharing and “drama” as reasons for growing disinterest in the social network. Currently, about 60 percent of Facebook-using teens keep their profiles private.

Mostly, they’re all just worried about their reputations, which is why 74 percent of teens have admitted to deleting someone from their network or friend’s lists. However, just nine percent said they were “very concerned” about third-parties using social media sites to access their data.

In addition, the study found that 91 percent of teens post pictures of themselves online, while 71 percent post their school names, another 71 percent post the names of their cities or towns, 53 percent post their email addresses and curiously, 20 percent post their phone numbers. Pew also found that 92 percent of teens use their real names online, 84 percent post about their interests (movies, music, books, etc.), 82 percent share their birth dates, 62 percent share their relationship statuses and 24 percent are posting videos about themselves.

Also not surprisingly, the study found that older teens are much more likely to share certain types of information, such as photos, school names and cell phone numbers, than younger teenagers, and that boys are for more likely to share personal information than girls.

There is an upside to all of this sharing, though, as the study found that teens are much more likely to report about positive, rather than negative, online experiences. A surprising 52 percent said they have had an “online experience” that made them feel good about themselves, while 33 percent reported online experiences that made them feel closer to another person (a number that increases to 37 percent for social media users).

 

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