Internet Regrets Hit One In Five Americans Who Post on Social Media

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The ease and speed of a quick Tweet or Facebook post frequently translates into embarrassment according to 18 percent of Americans in a new poll who say they have tech regret for something they have posted online.

Verbal or photographic misfires are so moritifying that half of all polled users on Facebook and Twitter said that the social media networks do more harm than good, according to the survey by Marist College in New York.

Public figures like disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner of New York -- who resigned after he tweeted x-rated images of himself -- may be an extreme example of "wish-I-never-posted-that," but he is not alone.

Despite having grown up with computers and social media sites, the younger generation seems to have the most to be sorry for. The Marist survey found that 24 percent of users under 45 wish they could take back something they said or put online.

Julian Morales, from New York, posted his phone number to Facebook when he first joined the social media site. "Big mistake," he said. "It led to some unwanted text messages from 'Facebook friends'."

Others learned early about the dangers of internet posts. A 19-year-old woman who agreed to be identified only as Sarah H., accidently sent a racy chain e-mail she got from a classmate to everyone in her address book -- including her parents and her grandmother. She was 9 at the time.

"I didn't really know what it meant, but the forceful sentence at the end urging me to 'forward on to at least 15 people or you'll have bad luck' obviously compelled me to forward it on to 15 people," she said. "Being so young, I obviously only had a few email addresses, so I just sent it to everyone I knew, including my parents, my grandmother and probably others. Let's just say I got a stern lecture from my mother on the dangers of the internet."

There's also a notable gender divide. Men seem to regret posting more often then women. Twenty-one percent of guys say they sent something they wish they didn't, compared with 15 percent of women.

Bradley Legrid, 25, of Minneapolis, Minn., acknowledged the dangers of online posting.

"The pictures or thoughts you do post online might not even be a direct reflection of who you are, but sometimes our thoughts and private pictures are better kept to ourselves," Legrid said. "Nobody wants their Grandma or Grandpa to feel shameful with who you are."