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Tech-savvy young 'still keep diary'

Teenagers are still using private diaries to record their innermost thoughts despite the advent of social media, research has revealed.

A new survey found that 83% of today's girls aged between 16 and 19 keep a personal pen-and-paper diary, up from 69% in the 1990s.

While 71% say that they post only some of their feelings and thoughts on social media, most teenage girls (95%) keep their deepest emotions out of sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the research for digital TV channel E4 found.

As well as not revealing crushes, problems at home, depression and body image issues on such sites, more than half (53%) say that they exaggerate on social media.

Over three quarters (78%) say that they have worries about posting thoughts and feelings online.

Around two thirds say that they keep a diary for therapeutic reasons, with 64% saying that writing in a private diary makes them feel better.

The research was commissioned by E4 to tie in with My Mad Fat Diary, a new, Nineties-set TV series based on the real-life teenage diaries of Rae Earl.

Earl, whose diaries have been adapted for the series, said: "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 teenagers will always retreat to a private diary to record their true thoughts."

Research was conducted by company Otherlines.TV, with a nation-wide survey of 1,400 people, including current teenagers aged between 16 and 19 and adults who were teenagers in the 1990s.

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