2018 American attitudes towards social media content and exposure

With the recent investigation of privacy for Facebook members, some people might be re-considering having their personal information stored on these accounts, as well as on the internet in general. Information posted via social media is available to anyone who is searching, including potential new employers, and even for people who are checking out a first date’s background. What is the current attitude Americans have towards their social media account content and exposure? Over 900 Americans responded to our questions and here is what we found out:


Digital Detoxing:

Reasons why participants have deleted their social media accounts:

  • 30% I was looking for a job
  • 30% I did not want to be on that platform anymore
  • 31% I wanted to detox my life of social media
  • 23% I was getting tired of political arguments on the platform
  • 31% I rarely used the platform
  • 12% I was avoiding someone

Americans have deleted the following social media accounts at least once before on these accounts:

  • 37% Facebook
  • 14% Twitter
  • 8% Instagram
  • 7% Snapchat
  • 6% LinkedIn
  • 7% YouTube
  • 6% Blog

29% of participants have bulk-deleted content from Instagram

If participants had to bulk delete from a social media account, 50% say they would delete content from pre-college and college years

46% of Americans had to ask a friend or business to take down a photo, video or post involving them. Out of those who asked, they said 92% complied with the request, and for 20% of people, they had to ask the friend or business 5+ times before the content was removed.


Social Media and Job Opportunities:

62% of Americans feel that when looking for a job, they need to clean up their social media

Americans changed their account from public to private for a job on these platforms:

  • 16% Facebook
  • 11% Twitter
  • 9% Snapchat
  • 11% LinkedIn
  • 7% YouTube
  • 18% Blog


The Dark Side:

Americans have a secret or fake account on these profiles:

  • 10% Facebook
  • 31% Twitter
  • 10% Instagram
  • 8% Snapchat
  • 6% LinkedIn
  • 7% YouTube
  • 5% Blog

Catfishing is a type of deceptive activity where a person creates a fake social networking presence or identity on a social network for deceptive reasons such as tricking people into emotional/romantic relationships.

-          36% of Americans have experienced catfishing.

-          8% of Americans have set up a catfish account.


Public vs Private Accounts

34% say that social media content on the internet is permanent only if it’s posted from public accounts

Here are the participants current social media profile settings:

Private Public
Facebook 25% 26%
Twitter 16% 19%
Instagram 18% 21%
Snapchat 31% 12%
LinkedIn 14% 38%
YouTube 12% 14%
Blog (ex: Tumblr or WordPress) 6% 6%

Americans do not use their full name on these platforms (ex: using your First Name + Middle name instead of First Name + Last Name)

  • 12% Facebook
  • 15% Twitter
  • 14% Instagram
  • 13% Snapchat
  • 7% LinkedIn
  • 23% YouTube
  • 8% Blog



This survey was run with Toluna QuickSurveys, the leading self-serve digital consumer insights solution. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Toluna surveys. Create your own survey today! 



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