Do teenagers feel safe sharing their personal info?

15 Jul 2009|Leigh Marinner

We’ve speculated about why teenagers share their personal experiences on Facebook, and whether the next generation has different privacy concerns. I just came across an interesting perspective from a 16 year old. He doesn’t trust Twitter.

“Twitter is a different type of social network than Facebook. Facebook is about connecting people, and sharing information with each other. The way my friends and I see it, Facebook is a closed network. It’s a network of people and friends that you trust to be connected to, and to share information like your email address, AIM screen name, and phone number. You know who’s getting your status messages, because you either approved or added each person to your network. With Twitter, it’s the exact opposite. Anyone can follow your status updates. It’s a completely open network that makes teenagers feel “unsafe” about posting their content there, because who knows who will read it. Sure, you get emails notifying you when you have new followers, but that doesn’t compare to the level of detail you get when someone on Facebook adds you, and you get their information.”

It’s interesting that our speculation that teenagers don’t care about privacy may not be true. As a parent, that’s somewhat reassuring. Facebook seems to have a more dedicated community than Twitter. So community matters. And teenagers have moved beyond the in person community, although most of their Facebook friends are also physical friends.

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