Facebook users have to work harder to keep their friend count up these days. A majority of adults on social networking sites have no bouts with deleting former “friends.”
Women more than men are restricting their profiles, deleting comments and tailoring their profiles due to privacy and reputation concerns, according to a new Pew Research Center’s Internet Project American Life study. Researcher interviewed 2,277 Americans who were 18 or older on the phone to gain information about what the public thinks about social media privacy.
They found almost 70% of female respondents said they have unfriended individuals, compared to 58% of men who also said yes.
Overall, Facebook users are more cautious about who sees their information. About 58% choose to keep their profiles locked down with privacy settings, while only 20% of users maintain a completely public profile. About 19% of Facebook users keep their profile partially private.
This may be due to the fact that many young adults — doing most of the unfriending, untagging and deleting — are looking for jobs. Businesses and companies, more than ever, are looking at Facebook profiles for first impressions of applicants.SEE ALSO: How to See When Someone Unfriends You on Facebook
Facebook users are also monitoring what content is associated with their profile — 44% have deleted comments from their profile and 37% have untagged photos. Men are more likely than women to regret posting something on their social media profiles.
Researchers believe profile pruning will continue to rise. Pew researchers believe this kind of research goes against mainstream ideas that say the public isn’t concerned with online privacy. The numbers show “privacy is important” to social media users.
The study also reported about half of people who use social media think managing privacy controls is somewhat difficult. College graduates are more likely to report difficulties with setting privacy controls than people with less education, Pew finds.
Tell us in the comments if you feel like you are taking actions to make your profile more private by unfriending people, untagging photos and deleting comments.