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Teens share more self information on social media – Research

facebookA research by Pew Research Centre (PRC) shows that teens are increasingly sharing personal information on social media sites.

It said the trend was likely to be driven by the evolution of the platforms teens use as well as changing norms bothering the sharing of information.

The PRC report, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency on Monday, said teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites adding that “the sites themselves are designed to encourage the sharing of information and the expansion of networks”.

It said, however, few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media and instead, they take an array of steps to restrict and prune their profiles, and their patterns of reputation management on social media vary greatly according to their gender and network size.

It said teens were sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past, for the five different types of personal information measured in both 2006 and 2012, each was significantly more likely to be shared by teen social media users in the current survey.

The report said older teen social media users, aged between 14 and 17 were more likely to share certain types of information on the profile they use most often when compared with younger teens aged between 12 and13 years.

It noted that teen Twitter use has grown significantly: 24 per cent of online teens use Twitter, up from 16 per cent in 2011; the typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.

It said: “Focus group discussions with teens show that they have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, disliking the increasing adult presence, people sharing excessively, and stressful “drama,” but they keep using it because participation is an important part of overall teenage socializing”.

It said 60 per cent of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings.

“Teens take other steps to shape their reputation, manage their networks and mask information they don’t want others to know; 74 per cent of teen social media users have deleted people from their network or friends list.

“Teen social media users do not express a high level of concern about third party access to their data; just 9 per cent say they are “very” concerned.

“On Facebook, increasing network size goes hand in hand with network variety, information sharing, and personal information management,” the report said.

It said in broad measures of online experience, teens are considerably more likely to report positive experiences than negative ones; declaring that “52 per cent of online teens say they have had an experience online that made them feel good about themselves”.

These findings are based on a nationally representative phone survey run by the PRC’s Internet & American Life Project of 802 parents and their 802 teens ages 12-17.

The PRC is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D. C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world.

Source: GNA

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