Who’s that Girl? Image and Social Media

Not the usual place I’d go to for research information, however an interesting study has emerged from the research unit of Girl Scouts of the USA on usage and attitudes of girls 14-17 around social media.

Some key out-takes

  • The vast majority use Facebook (91%) with MySpace (28%) a distant second. 38% have a Twitter account and average 8 tweets per day.
  • Seventy-four percent of girls agree that “most girls my age use social networking sites to make
    themselves look cooler than they really are.” Forty-one percent admit that this describes them. (Author note – I think this applies to pretty much anyone regardless of sex or age)
  • Girls downplay several positive characteristics of themselves online, most prominently their
    smartness, kindness, and efforts to be a good influence.
  • Girls who have low self-esteem are more likely to admit that their social networking image
    doesn’t match their in-person image (33% vs. 18% of girls with high self-esteem).
  • Fifty-six percent of girls agree that social networks help them feel closer and more connected to their
    friends. Thirty percent think that social networks have increased the quality of their relationships.

And finally:

However, the vast majority of girls prefer face-to-face communication. Ninety-two percent would
give up all of their social networking friends if it meant keeping their best friend.

Copy of the report (PDF) here.


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