Trends in Online Social Networking: Adolescent Use of MySpace over Time Cyberbullying Research Center image 1

By Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja

MySpace has received a significant amount of negative attention from the media and many concerned adults, who point to several isolated incidents where predators have contacted, become involved with and even assaulted adolescents whom they met through the popular social networking web site. Furthermore, concerned parents have expressed discontent with the amount and type of personal and private information youth seem to reveal on their profile pages. In 2006, the authors performed an extensive content analysis of approximately 2423 randomly sampled adolescent MySpace profiles, and found that the vast majority of youth were making responsible choices with the information they shared online. In this follow-up study, the authors revisited the profiles one year later to examine the extent to which the content had changed. Though exceptions occur, youth are increasingly exercising discretion in posting personal information on MySpace and more youth are limiting access to their profile. Moreover, a significant number of youth appear to be abandoning their profiles or MySpace altogether.

Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2010). Trends in online social networking: Adolescent use of MySpace over time. New Media and Society. 12(2) 197–216.

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