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Research by E4 reveals personal pen-and-paper diaries more popular than ever as teens take comfort in private journals over social networking sites

Research conducted by E4 to tie in with brand new British 90's-set series My Mad Fat Diary, based on the real-life teenage diaries of Rae Earl - starting Monday 14th January, 10pm

  • 83% of today's teenage girls keep a personal pen-and-paper diary - compared with 69% in 1990s
  • 95% of teenage girls admit they withhold their most personal information from those they connect with on popular networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter
  • 64% of teenage girls say writing in a private diary makes them feel better
  • 78% of teenage girls say they have worries about posting thoughts and feelings on social media
  • Over half of teenagers say they exaggerate on social media

It's a statistic Adrian Mole would be proud of: personal pen-and-paper diaries are more popular now than pre social-media days, as today's teens take comfort in private journals as an outlet for their innermost thoughts and feelings, a survey by E4 has revealed.

The survey - undertaken to coincide with the launch of My Mad Fat Diary, a new 90s-set British series based on the real-life teenage diaries of Rae Earl - reveals that 83% of today's teenage girls keep a diary, compared with 69% in the 1990s.

Almost two-thirds of teenage girls today choose to write a diary for therapeutic reasons, with 64% saying writing their secrets in a private diary makes them feel better. Almost a quarter (24%) say a diary is the only thing that is private about their life.

Despite 71% of 16-19 year old girls saying they post some of their thoughts and feelings on social media, the real story is unlikely to be revealed on networking sites - as almost all (95%) admit they withhold their most personal information, such as their crushes, problems at home, depression and body image issues, from those they connect with on the sites. In addition, over half of teenagers say they exaggerate on social media (53%).

There is a nervousness amongst teenagers about the use of social networking sites to reveal their truthful feelings, with 78% of teenage girls saying they have worries about posting information relating to themselves.

Rae Earl, whose real-life teenage diaries have been adapted for E4 series My Mad Fat Diary, says:
"It's no surprise to me that 83% of teenage girls still keep a diary. As long as young people still feel lonely, fat, mad, sad, happy, hopeless, good or bad they will ALWAYS need a place where they can record their thoughts and work things out in total privacy. Blogs and social networks like Twitter and Facebook might come and go, but diaries will live forever!"

E4 series My Mad Fat Diary takes a hilarious and honest look at teenage life from the perspective of Rae - a funny, music-mad 16-year-old who, despite an eccentric mother and her own body image and mental health issues, has a huge lust for life, love and trying to get laid. The brand new British series is set in 1996 at the height of Cool Britannia, and is based on the real-life diaries of Rae Earl. My Mad Fat Diary begins on E4 on Monday 14th January at 10pm.

http://www.e4.com/mymadfatdiary/

@E4Tweets

Editor's Notes

*Data from a survey of 1406 respondents conducted by research company Otherlines.TV on behalf of E4 (Respondents broken down to 506 16-19 year olds, and 900 respondents who were teens in the 90s)
*Full info on E4's My Mad Fat Diary here: http://www.channel4.com/info/press/press-packs/my-mad-fat-diary
*My Mad Fat Diary begins on Monday 14th January, 10pm on E4
*My Mad Fat Diary is based on Rae Earl's book of her real-life teenage diaries, My Mad Fat Diary, published by Hodder in paperback and eBook, £7.99, out now

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