How Facebook has changed our idea of 'too much information'

San Jose Mercury News


Facebook's collegiate roots have helped foster the popular view that young adults, having grown up with the Internet, are less worried about personal privacy than their elders. But that notion has been called into question by recent surveys led by Hoofnagle and by the Pew Center for the Internet and Society that found keen interest regardless of age.

Younger adults, the studies found, were actually more likely to actively "manage" their online data, rather than acquiesce to Facebook's default settings.

On the other hand, older adults have been more likely to shun online social networks entirely, or generally be less active users and accrue fewer online "friends."

Privacy, researchers say, is a shape-shifting concept that means different things to different people at different points in their lives. Life experience, Smith and Hoofnagle point out, often makes people more circumspect.