Thursday, June 16, 2011

New report alert: Do social networking sites really make us more social?

Use of social networking sites is growing and that those who use these sites, especially Facebook users, have higher measures of social well-being.
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Report: Social networking sites and our lives

Social networking sites and our lives

Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine social networking sites in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement.

This new report finds that Facebook users are more trusting, have more close friends, are more politically engaged, and get more support from their friends. Additionally, Facebook helps revive “dormant” ties with lost connections—the highest proportion of Facebook friends is high school classmates.

This survey also showed that more people are using social networking sites – the figure is now 47% of the entire adult population, compared with 26% that was measured in our similar 2008 survey. Among other things, this means the average age of adult social networking site users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010.  Over half of all adult social networking site users are now over the age of 35.

Read or download the full report:

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