Teens, Privacy, Social Networking

The Pew Internet in American Life Project released a report today titled, Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks: How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace

The summary on the Pew report page states:

The majority of teens actively manage their online profiles to keep the information they believe is most sensitive away from the unwanted gaze of strangers, parents and other adults. While many teens post their first name and photos on their profiles, they rarely post information on public profiles they believe would help strangers actually locate them such as their full name, home phone number or cell phone number.

As we’ve been saying on this blog on a regular basis, teens tend to be more savvy about safety and privacy in online social networks than many adults give them credit for.

The report highlights many aspects of teen use of online social networking and mentions that teens realize the context of their online connections has an impact on the information they present to others. The report writers state:

Many, but not all, teens are aware of the risks of putting information online in a public and durable environment. Many, but certainly not all, teens make thoughtful choices about what to share in what context.

Of course sometimes teens make bad choices, as the report realistically points out, but in the whole teens are definitely savvy about their online social networking choices. Read the report in order to gather more tools and information to use to help educate your community about why teens need to have access of social networking in the school and the library.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.
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