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30 Statistics about Teens and Social Networking

It s no surprise that the vast majority of American teens are on Facebook, or that parents worry about what their kids are doing there, or even that some kids do things online that they shouldn t. Still, it s interesting to see just how much social networking is a part of the modern teenage lifestyle, and how they and their parents feel about it. If you re the parent of a teenager, you might be surprised at some of the statistics regarding teens and social networking. These stats might make you think twice about getting Facebook parental controls.

Teen Internet Use

  • 93% of teens ages 12-17 go online
  • 69% of teens have their own computer
  • 63% of teen internet users go online every day
  • 27% of teens use their phone to get online
  • 24% of teens with a game console use it to go online

Teen Social Networking Use

  • 73% of teens are on a social network
  • The average teen has 201 Facebook friends
  • 37% send messages to friends every day
  • 8% of American teens use Twitter

What Teens do on Facebook

  • 86% of social network-using teens comment on a friend's wall
  • 83% comment on friends' pictures
  • 66% send private messages to friends
  • 58% send IM or text messages using the site
  • 52% send group messages

What Else Happens on Facebook

  • 55% of teens have given out personal info to someone they don t know, including photos and physical descriptions
  • 29% of teens have posted mean info, embarrassing photos or spread rumors about someone
  • 29% have been stalked or contacted by a stranger or someone they don t know
  • 24% have had private or embarrassing info made public without their permission
  • 22% have been cyberpranked

Parental Concerns and Controls

  • 88% of parents know that their teens typically use the internet to communicate with people they don t know in the offline world
  • 61% of parents  #1 concern with teen social networking is sharing personal information online
  • 60% of adults think parents should have full control over everything a child does online
  • 47% of parents admit that ensuring their teens are safe online can be overwhelming
  • 40% of parents worry about their teen s social network safety when online, even at home
  • 34% of parents check their child s social network sites

What Kids Think About Facebook Parental Controls

  • 67% of teenagers say they know how to hide what they do online from parents
  • 43% of teens say they would change their online behavior if they knew that their parents were watching them
  • 39% think their online activity is private from everyone, including parents
  • 38% would feel offended if they found out their parents were spying on them with Facebook parental controls
  • 25% would be shocked and hurt if they found out about spying
  • 20% of kids think their parents have no idea what they re doing online
  • 18% have created a private email address or separate social networking profile
  • 10% have unlocked parental controls to disable filtering

The results are clear: teens use Facebook. It isn t necessarily the safest place to play (but then again, that s part of the appeal) and parents are reasonably concerned. But even with dominant trends and statistics showing what the average family thinks, your family is unique. Kids are unique, parenting styles are dynamically different, and how your family addresses social networking should be too. The best Facebook parental controls can help you protect your children in a way that fits your family best, whether it s for strict oversight, minimal monitoring, or somewhere in between.

At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don t Have To. 


  • Social Media and Young Adults, Feb. 2010, Pew Internet & American Life Project
  • Global Insights Into Family Life Online, June 2010, Norton/Symantec & StrategyOne
  • Teen/Mom Internet Safety Survey, Oct. 2008, McAfee & Harris Interactive