Teens Don’t Talk To Strangers

One of the most intriguing things I’ve learned about teens in my research of late is that teenagers have a very tight network of friends. There’s a definite trust issue involved. Outsiders are viewed with caution. This outlook extends to the Web.

They may read blogs written by people they don’t know, but they trust blogs written by their friends. While I was exploring this issue I ran across a ClickZ article from 2005 entitled Teens Don’t Blog With Strangers.

While the article may be a bit dated, in this instance it has value because teen attitudes and habits haven’t changed.

“Teen bloggers and blog readers are reading the blogs of their friends,” Pew Internet & American Life Project senior research specialist Amanda Lenhart told ClickZ News. “For young people it’s about reinforcing and keeping relationships, not reading opinions of strangers.”

Lenhart notes that the data about teen blog readership runs contrary to the conventional wisdom about adult blog readers, which holds that adults most often read blogs written by people they don’t know.

Teen skepticism goes beyond far beyond blogs however, as all the ones I’ve spoken to stated that they trust almost no information they find on the Web, which includes advertisements, news and perhaps more significantly, other teens they happen to meet on Myspace or other social networks, although most of them said that they could ‘figure out a poser’ within minutes after trading messages with them.

The most common complaint? Adults that try to speak like teens. In a market that is constantly bombarded with negative press about fraud, poor information, stalkers, etc, it seems like the teens have gotten the message. Which means that marketers are going to have an even more difficult time gaining the trust of the next batch of consumers.


  1. Well, this explains a lot about my 16 year old son who thinks I am “weird” because I don’t “know” any of my blog friends. I’ve been talking to some of them for three years but to him they are strangers. He of course only talks to people he “knows” which I don’t understand because you can talk to them in person!

  2. DG

    Age old issue, teens don’t understand parents, and we don’t understand teens. ; )

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