Teenagers are turning away from Facebook because of oversharing friends and concerns over their parents knowing what they are up to.

A major new study found they are turning to Twitter in increasing numbers – where they are sharing more personal information about themselves than ever before.

Researchers found a big increase in the number of ‘selfies’ being posted, along with information about their school, city and even their mobile phone number.

 
 
The research also looked at what teens were posting online - and photo photos of themselves and other personal information was the most popular

The research also looked at what teens were posting online – and found photos of themselves and other personal information was the most popular

Teens told researchers there were too many adults on Facebook and too much sharing of teenage angst and inane details like what a friend ate for dinner.

‘The key is that there are fewer adults, fewer parents and just simply less complexity and less drama,’ said Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Center, one of the study’s authors.

‘They still have their Facebook profiles, but they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.’

In the poll, 94per cent of teens who are social media users have a profile on Facebook — flat from the previous year.

Focus group discussions with teens show that they have waning enthusiasm for Facebook, the researchers said, but they keep using it because participation is an important part of overall teenage socializing.

60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private, and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings.

The typical teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.

The Pew report found twenty-six per cent of teen social media users were on Twitter.

That’s more than double the figure in 2011 of 12per cent.

Twitter

Socially needier: A new poll finds that teens are moving increasingly to Twitter to avoid their parents and the ‘oversharing’ that they see on Facebook

In what is likely a concern to parents, more than 60 per cent of the teens with Twitter accounts said their tweets were public, meaning anyone on Twitter — friend, foe or stranger — can see what they write and publish.

About one-quarter of kids said their tweets were private and 12per cent said they did not know whether their tweets were public or private.

‘Teens still have their Facebook profiles, but they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr’

‘Teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past,’ the researchers warned.

‘For the five different types of personal information that we measured in both 2006 and 2012, each is significantly more likely to be shared by teen social media users in our most recent survey.’

However the researchers also found teens were aware of the security settings of the services they use.

‘Teens take other steps to shape their reputation, manage their networks, and mask information they don’t want others to know; 74% of teen social media users have deleted people from their network or friends list,’ they say.

More than 90 per cent of teen social media users said they have posted a picture of themselves — up from 79per cent in 2006.

Seven in ten disclose the city or town where they live, up from about 60per cent over the same time period.

And 20per cent disclose their mobile phone number — up sharply from a mere two per cent in 2006.

The researchers surveyed 802 parents and their 802 teens.

The poll was conducted between July 26 and September 30, 2012, on landline and cell phones.

 
Advertisements