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Social Media is Growing Up

At least, it’s users are. That’s what a report released last Friday says. The Pew Research Center report notes a significant increase (plus 60%) in social networking site usage on a typical day among Americans age 50-64 from a year ago.

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

The report represents a significant milestone in the lifespan of social media itself because combined with the 61% of under 30 users of social sites, the combined statistic for daily social networking site usage now crosses the halfway point.

Yes! As of 2011, 50% of all Americans use social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace (an interesting inclusion if you ask me). And maybe it’s just my skewed perspective of reality but I actually expected the percentage to be way higher.

And no surprise… women aged 18-29 are “the power users” according to the Pew survey. 89 percent of them use social networking sites, 69 percent use them daily.

As seen in the word cloud, “Good” was the most common response when social networking users were asked for one word to describe their experiences on social sites. More than half of the responses were positive.

So while you ponder whether to friend your teen on Facebook, don’t be surprised to get a friend request from your mom! :)

Madden, Mary, and Kathryn Zickuhr, 65% of online adults use social networking sites. Pew Internet & American Life Project, August 26, 2011, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-Networking-Sites/Overview.aspx, accessed on August 27, 2011.

word cloud credit: Pew Internet & Americal Life Project

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