Survey Results: Teens, Myspace & Other Social Networking Communities




For the past few years, Cox Communications Inc., and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have conducted a survey with different groups of teenagers in an effort to gain insight into the behaviors of teens online. The results are used to heighten awareness and to educate parents and teens about unsafe practices on the Internet.

In March of 2007, Cox Communication partnered up with NCMEC and John Walsh, of “America’s Most Wanted” television show, to conduct another survey with 1,070 teens ages 13 to 17.

The results of the 2007 survey indicate that dads, moms and guardians are speaking to their kids more about taking risks online and about using safer practices on the Internet. The survey also revealed that even though some progress is being made and changes are occurring in the behaviors of teens on the internet, the progress is minimal when compared to the 2006 survey results. The survey in 2007 duplicated questions from the previous year’s surveys, illuminating common tendencies with teen internet usage from year to year.

Bullying, cyber bullying, and harassment of teens online:

The survey showed that 19 percent of the teenagers were bullied or harassed online. The highest percentage (23 percent) was 16 and 17 year olds. At 21 percent, females had a higher incidence of harassment than did males at 17 percent.

The teenagers are making smarter choices when online:

In the 2007 survey, 16 percent of teenagers said they have considered a personal meeting with someone they have only talked to online. Compared to 30 percent in the 2006 survey, this number has dropped by almost half showing a big improvement.

Almost 70 percent of teens using Myspace and other social networking websites receive messages from people they don’t know. Routinely teens receive myspace comments posted on their myspace pages from strangers. They often respond to the comments which can lead to a dialog or a myspace chat. Almost all of the teens do not tell a parent or trusted adult.

When a teenager received a message from a stranger online, 60 percent said they would respond only to inquire as to their identity. This number showed improvement over 2006. However, nearly 31 percent say they usually reply and chat with people they don’t know and 21 percent tell an adult about the message.

In 2007, eight percent of the teenagers surveyed said they had a personal meeting with someone they met online. This is down from 14 percent the previous year.

Teen video sharing and photo sharing are important areas of discussion:

Almost 60 percent of the teenagers surveyed felt that they could post personal information, including photos and self-made videos online without any personal risk. News broadcasts around the country give a much different reality.

Almost 50 percent of the teenagers surveyed were not concerned that their lives may be impacted negatively in the coming months or years through misuse of their personal information. This number represents an improvement of almost 10 percent over the survey in 2006; however, it is still a big number.


The number of teenagers joining social networking sites is increasing:

There has been a 10 percent increase over the 2006 results in the number of teenagers with active social networking profiles online. Over 70 percent of the teenagers in 2007 had profiles established at social networking websites like MySpace, Xanga, Facebook, Friendster and more, compared to 61 percent the previous year.

Other revealing numbers on my space and you tube video and photo sharing:

64 percent of teenagers posted photos or videos of themselves online. This number may actually be larger. Teens have several mediums for uploading video, the two most popular being Myspace video, and Youtube Video.

58 percent posted personal information about their location, where they live, what schools they attend, etc. Of those teens surveyed, a higher percentage of females were more apt to post personal photos or videos of themselves than males (70 percent females vs. 58 percent males).

One out of 10 teenagers (or eight percent) have posted a personal cell phone number online.

Thus far, research has not been conclusive as to the levels of access from school computers to various sites like myspace.com

Source:
For the complete report visit Cox Communication’s News Release

Sarah Frances
Staff Writer
Research Team