Age Differences of Attitude to Privacy on Social Media
As older adults join the digital world in growing numbers, we need to gain a better understanding of how they experience and navigate online privacy.
As personal relationships reflect peoples’ salient social motivations and since motivational priorities change with age, the size and composition of online social networks may reflect age-related goal shifts. Understanding such effects is important because network characteristics affect behaviors such as information sharing (e.g., what is shared, how it is shared, and with whom it is shared). For example, the size and composition of one’s network may result in differing levels of knowledge gain and social norm awareness, which affect overall well-being and socialization. Despite these contradictory results, the underlying reasons for possible differences in privacy concern between younger and older people and users and nonusers have hardly been explored. However, understanding exactly why younger people report less concern can be useful, for example, for legislators and policy makers, as well as for internet entrepreneurs.
Relatively more adolescents associated privacy with situations involving relationships, for example being able to be alone with a partner or friend, whereas relatively more adults associated privacy with those situations that involve personal information, for example, the government collecting data. Here we will focus primarily on the personal information aspect of privacy since this aspect had a stronger relationship with concern regarding privacy while the relational aspect of privacy was only marginally related to concern (Steijn & Vedder, 2015).
Peter, J., & Valkenburg, P. (2011). Adolescents’ online privacy: Toward a developmental perspective. In S. Trepte & L. Reinecke (Eds.), Privacy online (pp. 221-234). Heidelberg: Springer.
Schermelleh-Engel, K., Moosbrugger, H., & Müller, H. (2003). Evaluating the fit of structural equation models: Tests of significance and descriptive goodness-of-fit measures. Methods of Psychological Research Online, 8, 23-74.
Steijn, W. M. P. (2014a). A developmental perspective regarding the behaviour of adolescents, young adults, and adults on social network sites. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 8(2), article 5.
Boneva, B.S., Quinn, A., Kraut, R.E., Kiesler, S., & Shklovski, I. (2006). Teenage communication in the instant messaging era. In R. Kraut, M. Brynin, & S. Kiesler (Eds.), Computers, phones, and the Internet: Domesticating information technology (pp. 201-218). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.
Acquisti, A., & Gross, R. (2006). Imagined communities: awareness, information sharing, and privacy on the Facebook. 6th Workshop on Privacy Enhancing Technologies. Cambridge, UK.