Report: Digital Natives Rarely Regret What They Post Online

While teens aren't worried about what they post once it's out there, they are concerned about cyberbullying and want social networks to take it more seriously, too.

Millennial teens — also called digital natives — are an increasingly important demographic. We’ve seen the networks they prefer to use, and their above average use of smartphones, but there are some nuances we haven’t seen. A new study titled Digital Families 2015: Evolving Attitudes Around Social Media and App Use, from Ask.fm seeks to discover some nuances in millennial teen social media use.

Catherine Teitelbaum, chief trust and safety officer at Ask.fm, said in a statement:

Teens have grown up online; it is core to how they communicate with the outside world on a daily basis, so it’s understandable most feel they have nothing to hide or regret when it comes to their digital behavior […] This casual attitude reminds us there is still work to do when it comes to educating teens and parents on the unique risks inherent in digital communication.

Among the 2,905 survey respondents, 79 percent of teens said they rarely regret the things they post online. It seems that older social media users are much more wary of sharing on social than teens. In fact, while many people regret sharing various social posts, teens either live more freely, or they haven’t experienced enough negative consequences to limit their sharing.

Teens do have some concerns about online sharing, and those concerns often lead them to anonymous sharing solutions. 47 percent said anonymous sharing allows them to post their real feelings, and 51 percent share anonymously to avoid ridicule. On anonymous question-based apps, which one-in-10 teens use, 15 percent share anonymously to talk about uncomfortable issues, and 12 percent want to find out what others think of them.

Teen and parent opinions differ greatly when it comes to concerns about social media. 80 percent of parents worry about the amount of time their teens spend on social media, largely because it might become a distraction from homework and other positive activities. While teens are concerned about cyberbullying, their parents don’t share the concern.

In fact, 38 percent of parents report that their children have been bullied offline, and only 10 percent report that their children have experienced cyberbullying, but 15 percent of teens report experiencing cyberbullying. 52 percent of teens have blocked other users on social sites, and 95 percent of teens believe that some action should be taken by social networks on the matter, and that cyberbullies should be held accountable.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.