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Americans More Comfortable with Kids' Social Networking, Chat Room Use

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Americans are growing more comfortable with young people's use of the internet - including social-networking sites, chat rooms and email - according to the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (CICAC), MarketingCharts reports.

Among the findings of the study conducted by Zogby International survey, together with 463 Communications, on behalf of CICAC:

  • 27.7 percent of Americans in the 2008 survey said social-networking sites and chat rooms should be restricted to adults, compared with 35.3 percent who had said so in an identical 2007 survey:


  • However, many seniors over age 70 said children should wait until adulthood before chatting and social-networking: 38.3 percent said so in '08, up from 34.6 percent in '07.
  • Just 2.8 percent of Americans said children should not have access to email until they are adults, down from 14.7 percent in 2007.


  • Only 4.2 percent of respondents said children should wait until adulthood before surfing the web, compared with 17.4 percent who said so in '07.
  • Social-networking, however, is still a concern: 63.2 percent of those surveyed said children under 16 should not have access to social networking sites and chat rooms. (Most major social-networking sites require that users be at least 14 years old.)

"The survey results suggest that Americans are increasingly accepting greater use of new online technologies by our young people," said Tim Lordan, executive director, CICAC. "Yet the survey shows that it may take some time for many Americans to become comfortable with how kids are social networking and chatting."

About the data: The 2008 Zogby poll is a survey of 3,585 adults, conducted Jan. 21-23. The 2007 Zogby poll surveyed 1,200 adults and was conducted Jan. 24-26.


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