Anonymous vs. Appropriate

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by gavin. robinson

Here is some interesting information from the “Pew Internet & American Life Project” on teen use of social media:

Teens are increasingly sharing personal information on social media sites, a trend that is likely driven by the evolution of the platforms teens use as well as changing norms around sharing. A typical teen’s MySpace profile from 2006 was quite different in form and function from the 2006 version of Facebook as well as the Facebook profiles that have become a hallmark of teenage life today. For the five different types of personal information that we measured in both 2006 and 2012, each is significantly more likely to be shared by teen social media users on the profile they use most often.

  • 91% post a photo of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.
  • 71% post their school name, up from 49%.
  • 71% post the city or town where they live, up from 61%.
  • 53% post their email address, up from 29%.
  • 20% post their cell phone number, up from 2%.

In addition to the trend questions, we also asked five new questions about the profile teens use most often and found that among teen social media users:

  • 92% post their real name to the profile they use most often.2
  • 84% post their interests, such as movies, music, or books they like.
  • 82% post their birth date.
  • 62% post their relationship status.
  • 24% post videos of themselves.


I guess that push from schools teaching kids to be anonymous online hasn’t really been that effective.

How about the following slide?

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Plug Us In

Are we anywhere near that in our work at schools?  I think in PSD70 with our Digital Portfolio Projectwe are closer than many, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Maybe instead of continuously pretending kids are staying (or even care to stay)anonymous online, maybe we need to change the conversation and talk to them about being appropriate.

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