75% of teens don’t tell parents when online communications make them feel uncomfortable;
46% of teens think social media influences their boyfriends or girlfriends relationship expectations
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – May 21, 2012 – Teenagers’ personal relationships and social interactions are becoming increasingly influenced by the Internet and social networks, according to an online teen dating survey from McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. With 95% of all teenagers (13-17 years of age) online and 80% using social media, a third of teens state they seek love on Facebook. As a result, 34% of girls and 16% of boys are exposed to more explicit and unwanted attention. Three out of four of these teens disclosed they would not inform their parents when the communications made them feel uncomfortable, pressured or threatened.
Teens were quoted saying:
“…everyone (on Facebook) is putting out there what they do with their boyfriends and there is some pressure to do the same.”
Worried about never living up to the ideal represented online, one teen says, “People only put good things about themselves and put good pictures on Facebook."
Yet another teen summed it up, saying, “Everything is so public.”
“Teens today increasingly face pressure to live up to peer expectations and are basically growing up faster than the normal standards,” said Stanley Holditch, online family safety advocate at McAfee. “We encourage parents to understand the different realities their teens are dealing with, and recommend they stay informed of what their kids are doing online by maintaining open dialogue with them, and monitor their online use with monitoring software.”
McAfee recommends that parents stay informed about their kid’s and teen’s online behaviors, utilize tools that block risky sites, and monitor reports for unwanted activities. These controls are available today in products such as McAfee® Safe Eyes® software, which is available online and in retail stores.
1 The Pew Research Center Internet & American Life Project, Internet Adoption Over Time by Teens and Adults, July 2011
McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), is the world's largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee is relentlessly focused on constantly finding new ways to keep our customers safe. http://www.mcafee.com
NOTE: McAfee and Safe Eyes are trademarks or registered trademarks of McAfee or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
McAfee commissioned Market Strategies International to conduct an online quantitative survey in January 2012 with over 1,000 U.S. teenagers aged 13-17.