Although there exists the probability of cyber bullying threats with social media, a 2012 survey conducted by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco based non-profit organization that advocates on child and family issues says that teens do see positive effects of social networking sites on their relationships and self-image. This national study conducted on over 1000 young people between 13 and 17 years of age debunks the popular perception that engaging on social sites is inherently harmful for teens owing to the dangers of bullying from peers, isolation or online predators. More than half of the respondents said social sites have helped them to be in contact with their friends, get to know other students in their school better or connect with those who share common interests.
One in five of the respondents said that social networking sites made them feel more confident, popular and sympathetic to others. Three out of ten have the opinion that social networks made them feel more outgoing while 5 percent said they felt more introverted. The survey also points out that teens are very much active on social networks. Half of the respondents sad that they visit social networking sites daily. One-quarter of teens said they use at least two different social sites a day. However, the report did also hint about ‘Facebook fatigue’ with a considerable number of teens (around 43 percent) saying they are addicted to digital devices and would like to break off from these sometimes or would like to get back to a period before Facebook was invented (around 36 percent).
Though this research gives only some information regarding the behavioral and developmental effects of technology on young people, it sheds light on why social networking sites are endearing to teens and how such sites can be used for social good. Another interesting fact that this survey highlights is that more than half of the teens checked their social networking sites from a mobile and around 43% do their social network activities through their mobile devices most or half of the time. Around 12% of teens ‘checked in’ with their location from a mobile device. This means that online advertisers can know where they are. Thus, this study also gives a hint to online marketers that they can target teens for their social media marketing efforts.
However, a 2013 survey conducted by Pew Internet, an initiative of the Pew Research Center found that though teens are sharing information on social sites past, they are taking steps to protect their privacy. The study says they are migrating to those social media platforms where they feel free to express their ideas without privacy concerns. So, it is time for advertisers who target teens to closely monitor their social networking activities and implement their marketing techniques on the platforms where they engage most. A professional SEO company that offers social media optimization services can help advertisers in this regard.