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WASHINGTON (AP) — Twitter is booming as a social media destination for teenagers who complain about too many adults and too much drama on Facebook, according to a new study published Tuesday about online behavior. It said teens are sharing more personal information about themselves even as they try to protect their online reputations.

Teens told researchers there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of teenage angst and inane details like what a friend ate for dinner.

“The key is that there are fewer adults, fewer parents and just simply less complexity and less drama,” said Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Center, one of the study’s authors. “They still have their Facebook profiles, but they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.”

In the poll, 94 percent of teens who are social media users have a profile on Facebook — flat from the previous year. Twenty-six percent of teen social media users were on Twitter. That’s more than double the figure in 2011 of 12 percent.

In what is likely a concern to parents, more than 60 percent of the teens with Twitter accounts said their tweets were public, meaning anyone on Twitter — friend, foe or stranger — can see what they write and publish. About one-quarter of kids said their tweets were private and 12 percent said they did not know whether their tweets were public or private.

Teens are also sharing much more than in the past.

More than 90 percent of teen social media users said they have posted a picture of themselves — up from 79 percent in 2006. Seven in ten disclose the city or town where they live, up from about 60 percent over the same time period. And 20 percent disclose their cell phone number — up sharply from a mere two percent in 2006.

At the same time, teens say they’ve taken steps to protect their reputations and mask information they don’t want others to know. For example, nearly three-quarters of teen social media users have deleted people from their networks or friends list.

The researchers surveyed 802 parents and their 802 teens. The poll was conducted between July 26 and September 30, 2012, on landline and cell phones. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Comment on this Story

  1. Guest123123

    All these media outlets are not good for these young people. No one knows how to communicate face to face anymore. I do understand they are good for business and long distance relationships but people just do not talk face to face anymore.

  2. Guest55

    I love social media. It used to be a chore to keep up with people so I narrowed it down to a small group. Social media tools have allowed me to broaden my circle of day-to-day friends, to converse and share more more with these friends, and to rekindle old friendships from college and the service. There is simply nothing like it. Like any tool, it can be used improperly and it’s up to parents and friends to teach kids how to best use social media. You don’t stop using hammers just because someone banged their thumb.

  3. Anonymous919

    This is the problem with non Te h think tanks. I don’t mean they know . I mean they do hardcore tech on an enterprise level and work see by side w/ their marketing social media peeps. A year ago, instagram was just barely taking off from FB. Tweens twatterd and twittered, didn’t like it, kept twitter acct, but use instagram and send tweets via instagram. Tech trend used to change every 3 years, then 12 months, with the new demographic now trending not for lotality but cutting edge dynamic info moving apps. By the time Wilmington average adults get info outdated like this, there is already a new trend brewing as is now. Social media us climbing to fashion status where the new then, is the old now. The old 60 &’70 year old outdated analysts trying to hold onto a pipe dream of a broken career fed w old info, and its the geeks and users like now.. We shake our head and laugh because old outdated stats are being fed to the media, now it’s being fed to you.
    you’ve got techs at your station. Get their input as they know more than this unknowingly targeted erroneous crap your producers are getting.. Use your own peeps or reach out to some of your areas geek teens..

  4. Guest123123

    This post just proved my point. This poster may be a tech savy person but could you imagine them going in for a face to face with a corporate executive. That would be interesting to see and hear.

  5. Guest Reply

    What’s this world coming to when people switch gossip links????????
    I love the tales when marriages break up over Facebook/Tweeter/whatever they want to ruin their lives with.
    It’s free entertainment…but there’s still the internet fee I suppose.

  6. Vog46

    What the heck is Twitter, instagram and the like?
    What are the differences?

    You can stop giggling now………
    Wait, I’m laughing too….


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