It’s no secret that the iGen generation—also called Generation Z, born in 1995 and later—is more reliant on technology than any previous generation. Social media outlets, such as Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter allow this generation to interact with real-life friends on a different level, but social media also allows these teens to develop relationships with people they would never have originally met face to face.
A study conducted by the Pew Research Center investigated teens’ social media habits. Here are the most interesting findings:
- Keep your digits to yourself: Gone are the days when people exchange phone numbers upon meeting someone new. Instead, the research shows that 62% of teens will trade their social media username as the first way to stay in touch when they meet a new friend.
- Digitally together: 72% of all teens say they spend time with friends on social media, and 23% say they do so every day.
- A cyber support system: Despite the lack of face-to-face communication, 70% of social media-using teens feel better connected to their friends’ feelings through social media. In fact, 68% said that they’ve had people on digital platforms support them through tough or challenging times.
- The dark side: Even though many teens said that they’ve felt supported through their online friendships, over 20% of teen social media users reported feeling worse about their own lives because of what they saw on social media. Social media is so prevalent in their lives that they cannot help but compare their own lives to their friends’ online personas.
- Peer Pressure: It might come as no surprise then that 40% of teen social media users report feeling pressure to post only content that makes them look good to others. Those profiles might not be as true to life as they’d want you to believe.
For the entire study, visit http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/06/teens-technology-and-friendships/.