Parents no different from kids when it comes to revealing info on Facebook

Parents no different from kids when it comes to revealing info on FacebookWashington, July 12: Parents are just as likely as their teenage kids to disclose personal information on the social networking site, according to a new research.

"Facebook is not just a phenomenon among young people," said Emily Christofides, a PhD psychology student who conducted the study with doctoral student Amy Muise and psychology professor Serge Desmarais.

"The online environment influences people of all ages. Both parents and teens share and show more about themselves than they might in other social settings, and the same psychological factors underpin that behaviour."

The study involved 285 non-student adults between the ages of 19 and 71, and 288 youths ages nine to 18. While Facebook requires users to be 13 or older, about 7.5 million users are younger than 13.

The researchers found adolescents reveal more than older users, but only because they spend more time on Facebook, not because they care less about privacy. Teens spend on average 55 minutes a day on Facebook, compared to 38 minutes for adults.

Adults were actually less conscious of the consequences of sharing personal information on Facebook, the study revealed.

For both groups, spending more time on the site made people more likely to share. Less awareness of consequences and greater desire to belong predicted more disclosure of personal information.

"Once again, the need for popularity was found to be a significant predictor of information disclosure," Muise said, adding that information disclosure is the key factor in assessing one's popularity.

The study has been published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. (ANI)