Some fascinating stats (from Pew) about social networking privacy and reputation management among online adults–especially 18-29 year olds.
In fact, there are so many, your head might spin–so I’ll try and breakdown the most important ones.
It appears that young adults have become a lot smarter about who sees their online updates.
- 71% of young social networking users have changed the privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online. By comparison, just 55% of users ages 50-64 have changed the default settings.
In addition to being more protective of their online identities, social networking users are better policing negative information published by others.
- 57% of users now use search engines such as Google, to see what information is posted about themselves online.
If users aged 18-29 find something that might hurt their online reputation, they take action!
- 47% have deleted comments that others have left on their profiles
- 41% have removed their name from photos they were tagged in
- When requesting that others remove photos and videos of themselves, 82% report they are successful in getting that content taken down.
These efforts seem to be working. It appears that the likes of Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, and other celebrity reputation scandals are ensuring the average social network user doesn’t suffer the same experience:
- Just 4% of online adults say they have personally suffered from an online reputation faux pas.
So, as widely predicted. Younger adults are getting wise to the importance of managing their online reputation. Unfortunately, as the study shows, those over the age of 50 are the least likely to change their privacy settings, monitor their reputation, or show any concern for what can be find in Google.
Maybe the next time their (grand)kids come over to program the DVR, they can also give them a quick lesson in social media management.