A report released by Pew Research reveals that compared with teen web users, adults are more likely to stand back and ignore offensive behaviour on social networking sites.
Adult respondents reported that they have seen their share of inappropriate behaviour on social networking websites but cruel behaviour was shown to be less evident to adults than to teens.
85% of online adult users reported that people are normally kind on social networking sites compared to only 69% of teens reporting the same.
Unkind behaviour on social media sites was evident to 20% of teens with only 5% of adults saying people are mostly unkind on social networking sites.
The majority of adults reported positive feelings and view social networking sites as a way to receive emotional and social satisfaction with 61% reporting they've had experienced that made them feel closer to another person on a site.
Alternatively, nearly a third of adults has had negative outcomes from interacting on social networking sites or has witnessed cruel behaviour.
These findings reveal a significant difference in the way adults and teenagers interact with their age groups on social sites. Another 2011 Pew survey revealed that 88% of teens have witnessed cruelty on a social networking site and 15% have been the target.