55% of Kids Don't Post Some Things Because They Don't Want to Look Bad in the Future

Pew research shows (again) that kids still care about privacy

computerkids-body-1.jpg

In our continuing series, Kids Are Not As Dumb About the Online World As You Assume, Pew Research finds that a majority of young adults have not posted something online because they thought it might negatively impact their future. This reflects the sophistication that young users bring to social media. While some youth may overshare online, the mass of kids are thinking about what they're doing. Which you'd expect because almost no one is more sensitive to social webs than kids under the age of 18.

Pew's researchers explain:

[T]he privacy-protecting behaviors of youth are complex, and involve a combination of application choice, profile settings, selective friending, and message control. Contrary to the public perception that teens and young adults simply "don't care" about their privacy online, there is growing evidence that younger users' privacy aspirations are not radically different from the views held by older adults.

Among 17-year-olds, a full 67 percent of the sample said they refrained from posting things online. Check out the metadata management by this middle school girl Pew quoted:

Like I tell all my friends who like take pictures, like, I'm like, you can't tag me in that. You can't tag anybody who's not on Facebook.

I'll also note that it benefits only social media companies to continue perpetuating the myth that kids these days have no desire for privacy. Kids and adults may differ in what they think is appropriate to put online or what they'd like to keep private, but privacy -- as a conceptual framework -- is baked into both groups.

Image: Michael D Brown/Shutterstock.

Presented by

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In