How Much Information is Too Much? Pew Internet Study Reveals Teen Social Media and Privacy Habits

Social media is network of people, interaction, and communication. Now a common facet of today’s culture, social media connects people of all ages on a daily basis. One audience in particular is constantly tapped in to multiple social media sites at any given time—teens. Pew Internet recently released a study on how teens manage privacy and utilize social media and their varying degrees of sharing on social media sites.

An overwhelming number of teen Facebook users have private profiles (60%), and most believe they are capable of managing their own profile settings. Although the majority of teens are in tune with their profile privacy settings, teens are sharing more personal information via social media than ever before. Only 9% of surveyed teens are “very” concerned with third parties accessing their information.

Facebook isn’t the only popular resource for social interaction. The survey revealed that teens are growing disinterested in Facebook. Since 2011, Twitter use by teens has increased from 11% to 24%. The major difference between Facebook use and Twitter use is that teens are more likely to have public accounts on Twitter than on Facebook.

One possible reason for teens’ diminishing interest in Facebook is that the number of adults on the site has risen. Additionally, teens dislike how their friends over-share and create commotion on the site. Teens who use Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms feel more at ease and freer to express themselves.

Despite all of this, these social media networks serve as distractions, as most teens continue to use Facebook in addition to other social media outlets. Teens who have large Facebook networks tend to be more involved with Facebook and other types of social media. It’s more than three times as likely for a teen with over 600 Facebook friends to be active on Twitter than those with 150 or fewer friends. These teens are also six times as likely to be active on Instagram.

Regardless of what types of social media teens are using, the general consensus is optimistic. Teens tend to have a more positive outlook on social media than negative—52% of teens have had an online experience that resulted in them feeling good about themselves.

Trends in social media will change, but as the survey indicates, teens will remain active. In order to reach this tricky demographic, advertisers must be conscious of social media. Nearly one out of three online teens was exposed to age-inappropriate advertising online. Close attention to online preferences and habits, combined with intelligent ad placement, will make all the difference in targeted social media advertising.

To leverage social media in your marketing efforts to connect with a younger demographic, contact MDG today at 561-338-7797 or visit

MDG is a full-service advertising agency and one of Florida’s top creative ad agencies. With offices in Boca Raton, FL and New York, NY, MDG specializes in developing integrated 360° marketing strategies that give clients a competitive advantage. Our core capabilities include branding, logo design, digital marketing, print advertising, mobile marketing, email marketing, media planning and buying, TV and radio, video ads, infographic development, Web design and development, content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO. To stay on top of the latest trends in social media marketing and advertising, contact MDG today at 561-338-7797 or visit