Channel 4

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Personal diary v Social Media research


Our specialist TV division, were commissioned by Channel 4 to design and implement an online survey about the keeping of personal diaries amongst teenagers.

How did we speak to the teenagers?

We surveyed 500 teenagers, using our specialist youth panel, and compared their responses with a sample of 800 adults, who were teenagers in the 1990s. The online study was undertaken to coincide with the launch of E4’s My Mad Fat Diary with the results used to glean editorial content and maximise PR around the launch of the programme.

What were the results?

Results showed that teenagers are still using private diaries to record their innermost thoughts despite the advent of social media.

  • 78% of teenage girls say they have worries about posting thoughts and feelings on social media
  • 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
  • Over half of teenagers say they exaggerate on social media
  • Media coverage of the research included Channel 4 News, The Telegraph, the Independent Ireland, Talk Talk News and Orange News

For more information please contact Penny Browell, Research Director:

Penny has spent more than 15 years working in Broadcast Research and the only thing she likes more than good programming is watching it with her three kids. Before setting up our specialist TV division,, she worked for several broadcasters and her roles included Research Manager at BBC1, International Research Manager for Discovery Channel, and Media Analyst at the EBU.'s current clients include the BBC, ITV,C4, Channel 5, Sky, MTV and others. Penny is an experienced qualitative moderator as well as enjoying getting knee deep in data.


“The team understood the brief and delivered some excellent and easy-to-decipher results with incredibly quick turnaround. The results on teenage diary-writing habits were a valuable part of the overall PR campaign to launch the series, generating coverage in a wide variety of national and online press. We would gladly recommend Alex, Penny and the team.”

My Mad Fat Diary press team, E4