A FRIEND ONLINE...is a friend indeed? A new Pew survey on “Teens, Technology and Friendships” found that 57 percent of teenagers made a new friend online, most often through social media and gaming. But, as we suspect, social media can be a double-edged sword: 83 percent of teens say it helps them feel more connected, but 88 percent also believe that people share too much information. “Many teens feel pressure to curate positive and well-liked content,” the survey finds, and as a result they tend to think people are “less authentic” on social media.
The report also explores the darker side of social media: about 31 percent of teens have fought over something posted online. Responses are also broken down according to ethnicity; for instance, “Hispanic youth are somewhat more likely to report that they feel worse about their own lives because of social media.”
The report offers a wealth of insights into teens' online behaviors and offers clues into digital citizenship and how “digital natives” are living online. We suggest pairing this report with this personal reflection, “Eleventh Grade Tech Trends,” which went viral last year.