Features

Infographic: Social Media Habits and Privacy Concerns

Written on
Feb 15, 2012 
Author
Brian LaRue  |

ADOTAS - A new survey (illustrated now by an infographic) mounted by consumer/business insights provider uSamp shows that a large number of social media users aren’t willing to share information about some of the most basic personal details that some social sites ask for upon initial profile setup: For example, 56.7 percent of male U.S. social networkers and 77.3 percent of female users said they definitely wouldn’t share their phone numbers, and 61.1 percent of men and 78.1 percent of women said they definitely wouldn’t share their income. Moreso, according to survey results, 28 percent of respondents were to some degree uncomfortable with privacy protections, and among respondents who said they used no social media sties, 73 percent said they refused because of privacy concerns.

It’s an interesting look, but in the analysis of what people are sharing via social media and what they think they’re sharing, it’s only one angle on a prismatic issue. Think about this one: According to this survey, people are more willing to share brands they like (79 percent for men, 78.5 percent for women) than they are to share their relationship status (74.6 percent for men, 72.5 for women). If I can speak anecdotally for a second, let me say that if my Facebook news feed is in any way typical, there’s a fair amount of concern about “privacy” issues on Facebook — mostly hinging around the idea that outside advertisers are able to access the information they post in what they believe is a personal forum. And yet, this survey indicates users are, in some cases, more inclined to share the kind of data advertisers and marketers actually want than they are certain other aspects of their personal lives. Granted, all of these categories matter to slot users into demographics, but still: There seems to be some disconnect between what social media users want their friends and acquaintances to know and what they want the network and its ad partners to know.

In any case, a dialogue progresses one sentence at a time, and here are a few worth noting (click to enlarge):

 





Adotas Senior Editor Brian LaRue has been working in journalism in some form or another for slightly longer than his entire adult life, having won his first SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) Award while he was still in high school. Prior to joining Adotas, he served as a reporter, editor, columnist, critic and blogger, mostly for a number of daily and weekly newspapers scattered around his native Connecticut. In his off hours, Brian maintains an active parallel life as a musician and music blogger.

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