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Social media has given teens the ability to instantly connect with others and share their lives through photos, videos and status updates.Teens themselves describe these platforms as a key tool for connecting and maintaining relationships, being creative, and learning more about the world.In each instance, teens are more likely to associate their social media use with generally positive rather than negative feelings. Just as relationships get forged and reinforced on social media, friendships can turn sour and require teens to prune their friend or follower lists.By relatively large margins, teens indicate that social media makes them feel included rather than excluded (71% vs. More than four-in-ten teens (44%) say they at least sometimes unfriend or unfollow people on social media, including 14% who say they do this often.There are some age and gender differences in the topics teens share on social media. And older girls are especially likely to post about a variety of subjects – including their dating lives, their family, their emotions and their religious or political beliefs, compared with older boys or younger teens.
Relatively few teens – around one-in-ten – say they share things related to their personal problems or their religious or political beliefs on social media.
In general, girls are more active than boys at disconnecting from others on social media.
Roughly half of girls (52%) say they at least sometimes unfriend or unfollow people, compared with 35% of boys.
And girls are nearly twice as likely as boys to say they often unfriend or unfollow people on these platforms (18% vs. But among youth who do engage in this practice, boys and girls largely do so for similar reasons – with one exception.
Boys are more likely than girls to say they’ve unfriended or unfollowed someone because that person posted too much or too often (67% of boys who regularly unfriend say this vs. Majorities of teens believe social media helps people their age diversify their networks, broaden their viewpoints and get involved with issues they care about.