Thursday, December 20, 2012

Social Networking Websites Increase in Popularity

Older adults have dramatically increased their use of social networking websites, such as Facebook. A PEW Research Center social networking report has found that 57% of internet users age 50-64 use social networking websites, while 38% of those age 65+ use these sites. Facebook is the most popular social network for older adults, with 56% of internet users age 50-64 using this website and 40% of those age 65+ using this website ("Photos and Videos as Social Currency Online" by Lee Rainie et al.). People use Facebook to stay in contact with friends and family and to share their pictures. Older adults are also using LinkedIn for career networking and Pinterest to share images.  
Why are social networks so popular? A PEW Research Center study investigated the social impact of social networking and found that:
  • The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American.
  • Facebook revives “dormant” relationships.
  • Internet users get more support from their social ties and Facebook users get the most support.
  • Facebook users have more close relationships.
You can access the full report here.

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