Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How Tweens and Teens Use Social Networks

Today we were invited to sit in on an interesting webinar on tween and teen girls' usage of social networks. The webinar was run by the Girl Scout Research Institute and the Pew Internet and American Life Research Project and featured results from their surveys on how girls use the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

While the data is older than we would've liked to have seen (from 2009), there were some interesting tidbits:
  • 93% of teens use the Internet, and 73% of those use social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace
  • Girls who use social media update their Facebook status at least twice a day on average
  • Middle school kids acknowledge that they act "fake and phony" online but know that they "should act responsibly"
  • 68% of girls have had a negative experience (read: cyberbullying) online, but they are also self-aware: surprisingly, 58% admit to engaging in gossip online
  • Three-quarters of girls say that girls "make their social network profiles look cooler than they really are"
  • 4 out of 10 girls ages 14-17 curse online and 10% have posted photos of themselves smoking or drinking even though they know that such posts could hurt their college applications
  • The most common words girls use to describe themselves online? "Fun", "funny" and "social"
  • 38% of socially networked girls use Twitter and send about 8 Tweets a day
  • MySpace isn't dead yet - 28% of socially networked girls still use it
  • 31% of girls do NOT protect their profiles and photos online (see our detailed tips here and TALK TO YOUR TWEENS ABOUT PRIVACY AND PROFILES!)
For more tidbits, you can view our coverage of this webinar on our Twitter feed.

Check out our report from the FCC's forum on Texting, our tips on how to keep your tweens protected from unwanted photo tagging on Facebook, and our call to Take Back Formspring.

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