checkA recent research survey by Pew Internet has found that users are becoming more discerning about information shared on social media networks and on the people whom they “friend” on such websites. The survey found that 63 percent of social media users have recently deleted people from their friends list; an increase of 7 percent over 2009. An additional 44 percent of users have deleted comments left on their social media profile by other users. Over one-third of users have “untagged” their names from photos posted by others.

Users are also becoming more careful about who they allow to access their online profiles. The survey found that 58 percent of users have set their profiles to the highest privacy setting, allowing only their friends to see it. An additional 19 percent of users have opted for partial privacy so that only friends and friends of friends can view their profile. Only 20 percent of respondents reported that their profiles have their profile set to be completely public.

Contrary to popular opinion, only 11 percent of users report that they regret any content posted on their profile; though the statistic may appear low to HR personnel who have reviewed profile of job applicants. Specifically, 15 percent of males reported to have regretted posted content on their profile, compared to 8 percent for females. Users aged 18 to 29 are three times as likely to regret posted content compared with users aged 50 and older with 15 percent of the former group expressing some regret and 5 percent from the latter.

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