Teens and Social Media

According to - a report published in November 2011 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project:
  • 95% of all American teens ages 12-17 are online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites
  • 88% of social media-using teens have witnessed other people be mean or cruel on social network sites
  • 15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of online meanness
  • 19% of teens have been bullied in some form – in person, online, by text, or by phone
  • 58% of teen internet and cell phone users say their parents have been the biggest influence on what they think is appropriate or inappropriate when using the internet or a cell phone.

Facebook, parents and kids under 13
In spite of Facebook's age minimum of 13, it turns out many parents are aware of the fact that their children under age 13 have Facebook accounts, and many even assist their kids in setting up their account!

According to a , conducted in July, 2011:
  • 12 is the mean age at which parents of current 13-and 14-year-olds reported that their child joined Facebook; Facebook’s minimum age is 13.
  • 36% of all parents surveyed knew that their child joined Facebook before the age of 13; 68% of these parents helped their child create their account.
  • 55% of parents of 12-year-olds report their child has a Facebook account; 82% of these parents knew when their underage child signed up and 76% assisted in creating the account.
  • 53% of parents think Facebook has a minimum age; 35% of these parents think that it is a recommendation and not a requirement.
  • 78% of parents reported various reasons that make it acceptable for their child to violate minimum age restrictions on online services.

According to a June 2011 survey conducted by the :
  • More than 85% of parents with teenagers ages 13 to 17 reported that their children had social media accounts.
  • Of that number, more than 52% said that they were concerned about their kids being the victim of harassment or teasing over social media.
  • One in six parents reported knowing that their child had been teased, harassed or bullied over social media sites, some of the victims as young as 9 years old!
  • One in seven parents prohibit their children from using a social media site. The most common reasons cited for keeping children from having a presence on social media were they were too young or lack of privacy.
  • Cyberbullying was twice as common among girls compared to boys, with about two-thirds of cyberbullying occurring among females.
  • Parents ages 30 to 39 were more likely to be aware that their child had been teased, harassed or bullied online than parents 39 or older.

A Consumer Reports survey conducted in the US in early 2011 reveals the following:
  • Of the 20 million minors who actively used Facebook in the past year, 7.5 million—or more than one-third—were younger than 13.
  • Among young users, more than 5 million were 10 and under, and their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents.
  • One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on the site in the past year.

American Osteopathic Association, Press Release (July 11, 2011), "Parents Fearful of Cyberbullying", Retrieved July 13, 2011 from

Consumer Reports. (June, 2011). “Online exposure: Social networks, mobile phones, and scams can threaten your security", Retrieved May 16, 2011 from

Lenhart, A., Madden, M., Smith A., Macgill, A., Purcell, K., Zickuhr, K. Rainie, L. (2011). “Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites”, A Pew Internet & American Life Project Report, Retrieved Nov. 17, 2011 from

Boyd, Danah, Hargittai, Eszter, Schultz, Jason, AND Palfrey, John."Why parents help their children lie to Facebook about age: Unintended consequences of the ‘Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’" First Monday [Online], Volume 16 Number 11 (31 October 2011), Retrieved November 2, 2011 from

Tags: teens, social media, research, Facebook

"PureSight Owl 2011 can detect cyberbullying in IM, terminate the conversation, block the perpetrator, and notify Mom; impressive!.."

Real Life Story

“I am going to put you in the morgue”
Rachael Neblett, a 17-year old high school student from Kentucky received threatening emails with this and other threats. She committed suicide…

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