28 May 2013

Teenagers Dread Facebook Overshare, Pew Internet/American Life Project Finds

American teenagers prefer Facebook to other social media platforms despite being most frustrated by this particular online social medium, a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project finds. It appears teens feel overwhelmed by the quantity and nature of information shared online by their peers, besides having to avoid the increasing number of adults with accounts on Facebook.

“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,” Pew reports.

Youngsters are more open in sharing information about themselves on Facebook than in 2006. In Pew’s last survey, some 71% of teens had no problems disclosing their school name, 71% their city or town of residence, 53% their email addresses, 20% personal phone numbers and 91% of the respondents use photos of themselves.

Only 9% expressed concerns about third parties accessing their private data, with teenagers being mostly interested in how sharing info on Facebook affects their social interaction in school or their circle of friends and colleagues.

Most teens with Facebook accounts have an average of 300 friends, while the typical Twitter teen user has up to 80 followers. Pew found that American teens are less stressed while using other social media and micro blogging platforms, but remain logged into Facebook out of anxiety of missing out on something about people they know.