A recent study conducted by Pew Research published on Friday, February 24 in the Washington Post, and distributed nationally by the Associated Press, indicated that Social Media users are “managing their privacy settings and their online reputation more often than they did two years earlier.” You can read the entire article by clicking here.
Nearly half of respondents said that they deleted comments from their profile, where two years ago, only 36 percent indicated the same thing.
Here are some other findings, published here directly from the article, that may interest you. The paragraph labels in red are my own.
Women. Women are much more likely than men to restrict their profiles. Pew found that 67 percent of women set their profiles so that only their “friends” can see it. Only 48 percent of men did the same.
Education. Think all that time in school taught you something? People with the highest levels of education reported having the most difficulty figuring out their privacy settings. That said, only 2 percent of social media users described privacy controls as “very difficult to manage.”
Privacy. The report found no significant differences in people’s basic privacy controls by age. In other words, younger people were just as likely to use privacy controls as older people. Sixty-two percent of teens and 58 percent of adults restricted access to their profiles to friends only.
Young Adults. Young adults were more likely than older people to delete unwanted comments. Fifty-six percent of social media users aged 18 to 29 said they have deleted comments that others have made on their profile, compared with 40 percent of those aged 30 to 49 and 34 percent of people aged 50 to 64.
Men. Men are more likely to post something they later regret. Fifteen percent of male respondents said they posted something regrettable, compared with 8 percent of female respondents.
Regrets. Possibly proving that with age comes wisdom, young adults were more likely to post something regrettable than their older counterparts. Fifteen percent of social network users aged 18 to 29 said they have posted something regrettable. Only 5 percent of people over 50 said the same thing.
Here is how the study was done. Pew Research conducted a phone survey of 2,277 adults in April and May 2011. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. The data about teens came from a separate phone survey Pew conducted with teenagers and their parents.
Are you surprised by this? Is your own use in line with these findings? What would you have said if you were surveyed with the same questions?
Let’s talk about it really soon!
I am not surprised at all to see the statistics published on February 20, 2012 by the Pew Research Center that reveal very few Americans receive political news from social networks.
Where do we get our information about politicians, campaigns, platforms, etc? It’s not from social media. Here is the breakdown, when Americans were asked to identify the sources they used regularly to follow political news. Note this is not a “fixed pie” of 100%. Rather, these numbers reflect how many Americans sampled identified a source:
Cable news (36%)
Local TV news (32%)
National network news (26%)
Local daily newspaper (20%)
Talk radio (16%)
Late-night comedy shows (9%)
Why would this surprise anyone? Social Media is just what it is – it is social. It generates conversation, spreads opinions, and highlights reactions. Social Media is not a source that generates or distributes information. It is post-news. It is filled with what people think about what they already know.
It is not that Social Media is unimportant. In fact, it is the focus in my MBA research methods class this term at the University of Dallas. My students are learning research methods by focusing their research on Social Media.
Americans don’t get their news from Social Media outlets. Americans talk about the news through Social Media.
Are you surprised by this? If so, let’s talk about it really soon!