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Average Teenager Never Meets 25% of Facebook Friends

By - Source: Ofcom (PDF) | B 15 comments

Figure equals average of 72 strangers per child.

According to data found in a new research report, the average 12 to 15-year-old has never met one in four of their 'friends' on social networking networks such as Facebook.

Telecoms and media regulator Ofcom's annual Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report found that 12 to to 15-year-olds spend an average of 17 hours per week on the internet, as well as the possibility of over a third of three and four-year-olds using the internet for TV and games.

More than 40 percent of five to 15-year-olds who utilize internet access boast a social networking profile, which has risen to 80 percent among 12 to 15-year-olds.

The older age group has an average of 286 online friends, with 93 percent of them stating they are confident they acknowledge online safety. However, the report suggested that 12 to 15-year-old's have not met an average of 25 percent of the friends on sites including Facebook, which equals an average of 72 strangers per child.

"Children are not just using more media, they are also adopting some forms [of it] at a very young age," said Claudio Pollack, consumer group director at Ofcom.

The regulator also said it has seen a 50 percent rise in smartphone ownership among the latter age group year on year. Almost two thirds of 12 to 15-year-olds now own a smartphone.

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  • 8 Hide
    dark_lord69 , October 25, 2012 6:11 PM
    OMG! That's a bit disturbing.
    Oh look he just said he's on vacation with his family for a week. Now would be the perfect time to rob his house.
    I know 100% of my facebook friends and many of them are family.
  • 6 Hide
    igot1forya , October 25, 2012 6:24 PM
    Never meet 25% huh? Seems a bit low. I mean, seriously have they never played a FB game that required friends to get goods... talk about random friend requests being sent out.
  • 1 Hide
    wolley74 , October 25, 2012 6:46 PM
    http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/28994100.jpg

    yep this sums it up
  • 2 Hide
    Devoteicon , October 25, 2012 6:54 PM
    Old news is old. The same could have been said about myspace. And we all know what happened to that place... Hopefully facefail will soon follow suit.
  • 9 Hide
    COLGeek , October 25, 2012 7:08 PM
    I would think the number would be even higher.
  • 0 Hide
    DirectXtreme , October 25, 2012 7:16 PM
    DevoteiconOld news is old. The same could have been said about myspace. And we all know what happened to that place... Hopefully facefail will soon follow suit.

    If Facebook goes the route of MySpace, something is bound to replace it. My guess is Twitter.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , October 25, 2012 7:30 PM
    COLGeek, you beat me to it. Maybe people develop a higher ratio of unknown "friends" as they get older and their activities cover a wider spread? Maybe it's correlated with intelligence: dumber people stick with people they know; people with more imagination imagine that they are friends with GreenCardLawyer, whom they have never met?
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , October 25, 2012 7:32 PM
    An addendum. I just noticed that the title is "Never Meets 25%...," not "Did Know Know when marking them as Friends." It's the one that you did not know, friended, and _do_ meet that can kill you.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , October 25, 2012 8:23 PM
    17 hours a week isn't so bad. I would have guessed more like 30-40 for that age group.
  • -1 Hide
    anti-painkilla , October 25, 2012 8:26 PM
    I would have met 99% of my 227 facebook friends, I dont invite/friend everyone. Maybe 5% is friends of friends who I have met on occasion. The rest I know quite well.
  • 4 Hide
    spentshells , October 25, 2012 8:29 PM
    we used to have this thing called outside when I was younger it was free to use and had no apps and I had really great luck using it in the past.
  • 1 Hide
    anti-painkilla , October 25, 2012 8:37 PM
    Wow got so caught up in stats that I forgot to write what i was going to write. Obviously I am not a 15yro, but the problem is trying to look popular by having lots of friends, so they friend everyone that they can. And as other have said, this can leak personal information that shouldn't get out and give strangers an easy way to contact them and location/photos.

    With IM previously, you could talk to random people and it really didn't matter. All they had was a username. And as long as you were smart about it, they couldn't find out anything about you unless you told them. Now it is just free for all.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 25, 2012 9:25 PM
    Most of the article: No big surprise. Why is this even news?

    Then I came to this: "as well as the possibility of over a third of three and four-year-olds using the internet for TV and games"

    Dafuq? Now that is messed up. Looks like we got a generation of kids with ADD coming up.
  • 1 Hide
    jalek , October 25, 2012 10:02 PM
    286 friends? Zynga has games that push people to get over 500.
    They should be taught how to set up dummy accounts for such things, rather than Facebook trying to make that more difficult.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , October 26, 2012 12:44 AM
    Did we have this problem with MySpace?
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