7/22: Nearly One in Five Internet Users Regret Online Behavior

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal sent shock waves throughout the nation.  But, can American Internet users relate to Mr. Weiner’s questionable online behavior?

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Click Here for Complete July 22, 2011 USA Marist Poll Release and Tables

Although 82% of Internet users nationally say they have never sent or said anything over the Internet that they regret, a notable 18% have.

Younger Internet users are more likely than older ones to have engaged in regrettable online actions.  24% of Internet users younger than 45 years old compared with 13% of those 45 and older report this to be the case.  And, men who use the Internet — 21% — are slightly more likely than female Internet users — 15% — to have sent or said something online they wish they could take back.

In general, what kind of impact does social media like Facebook have on relationships?  Half of Internet users nationwide — 50% — think social media does more harm than good.  About one-third — 33% — report social media does more good than harm, and 17% are unsure.  Similar proportions of adults overall share these views.  51% of residents think social media does more harm than good while nearly three in ten adults — 29% — think it has a positive impact.  20% are unsure.

Table: Personal Online Practices
Table: Social Media: More Good Than Harm or More Harm Than Good?

Marist Poll Methodology