I must confess, I am a bit of a study enthusiast. It may stem back to my days as a chemist, but I love a big data chart and well done graph. This morning, Pew Internet released a new study on Teens, Social Media, and Privacy. This study is the sequel to their first report from 2007, Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks. The 2012 report contains good news as well as some areas to work on.
Teens are sharing more personal information online.
In every category, teens shared more information in 2012 than in 2006. One of the biggest jumps was sharing cell phone numbers. In 2006, only 2% shared their cell number online compared to 20% in 2012.
- 91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.
- 71% post their school name, up from 49%.
- 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.
- 53% post their email address, up from 29%.
- 20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.
Although sharing more personal information, teens are taking steps to manage their online reputations.
60% of teens kept their Facebook profiles private. More than half of online teens (57%) said they decided not to post something online because they were concerned it would reflect badly on them in the future. Teens also reported having adults on their networks influenced their decision about whether or not to post something. The pressures of college admission and employment seemed to have a big influence on their online behavior.