Warning to parents: this is what your teen does online

Steven Loeb · May 3, 2012 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/266d

37% video chat and 27% upload videos of themselves; social networking a major contributor

As the years go on, fewer and fewer teens will have lived in a world without the internet, and they will have less inhibitions about what is acceptable. A new study found that that teenagers are becoming more comfortable putting themselves online in video form, whether it be chatting, uploading or streaming videos of themselves for others to see. 

Video chatting

More than a third, or 37%, of the 799 teenagers, aged 12-17, surveyed for the study say they use a video chat application, such as Skype or iChat., according to a study from Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released on Thursday.

Girls are more likely to video chat than boys, 42% to 33%.

The Pew study also found a correlation between cell phone use and video chatting: 77% of teens have cell phones and 75% of those kids are able to text. Some 40% of those with texting plans said they have video chatted, compared to 27% of non-texters.

Social networking, though, is an even bigger indicator of behavior. More than three out of four, or 77%, of the teens surveyed are members of a social networking site, 16% of whom use Twitter. For those with a Facebook account, 41% video chat, compared to 25% of kids without Facebook. Twitter users were even more likely to video chat, with 60% of them saying they had, and 33% of those without Twitter. 

Recording and uploading video

More than a quarter, or 27%, say they record video and put it online, up from 14% who said the same thing in a 2006 study. That number goes up as the kids got older, with 30% of 14-17 years doing it and 21% of those 12-13.

The number who upload video is pretty evenly split by gender, with 28% of boys and 26% of girls. Those numbers have increased dramatically in the past five years; in 2006, boys were almost twice as likely to record and upload videos, with only 19% of boys and 10% of the girls doing it.

Again, social networking correlated with a rise in video uploading activity. Overall, 31% of the kids who use social networks record and upload video. For Facebook users, that number was 33% who do use it and 11% for those who don’t. For Twitter it was 46% who use it and 24% who don’t.

Live video streaming

Video streaming is the least prevelant of all the activities covered in the survey, but Pew still found that 13% of internet-using teens stream video live to the internet for other people to watch.

It made no difference whether the person’s profile was public or private.

“The private or public nature of a teen’s social media profile does not make a difference in their

likelihood of streaming video – there is no statistically significant difference among teens with private, semi-private or public profiles,” the report says.

The percentage of boys and girls performing this activity is essentially the same, 12% and 13%. 

About 15% of Facebook users and and 25% of Twitter users have engaged in this behavior.

(Image source: visualphotos.com)

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes