Friday, February 10, 2012

Pew Internet News: Social networking climate; Facebook power users; Video: peer-to-peer healthcare

The tone of life on social networking sites

social networking climateThe overall social and emotional climate of social networking sites (SNS) is a very positive one where adult users get personal rewards and satisfactions at far higher levels than they encounter anti-social people or have ill consequences from their encounters. A nationally representative phone survey of American adults finds that:

  • 85% of SNS-using adults say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation.
  • 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves.
  • 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.)
  • 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior “only once in a while” and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.

At the same time, notable proportions of SNS users do witness bad behavior on those sites and nearly a third have experienced some negative outcomes from their experiences on social networking sites. Some 49% of SNS-using adults said they have seen mean or cruel behavior displayed by others at least occasionally. And 26% said they had experienced at least one of the bad outcomes that were queried in the survey.

Report: Why most Facebook users get more than they give

The average Facebook user gets more from their friends on Facebook than they give to their friends. Why? Because of a segment of “power users,” who specialize in different Facebook activities and contribute much more than the typical user does.

We combined server logs of Facebook activity with survey data to explore the structure of Facebook friendship networks and measures of social well-being. We found that over a one-month period:

  • 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request
  • Users in our sample pressed the like button next to friends’ content an average of 14 times, but had their content “liked” an average of 20 times
  • Users sent 9 personal messages, but received 12
  • 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo

Video presentation: Peer-to-peer Healthcare and the C3N Project

Three-quarters of U.S. adults go online. A majority of U.S. households have broadband internet access. Eight in 10 adults have a cell phone. Six in 10 adults go online wirelessly with a laptop or mobile device. Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phone.

With each hurdle passed, from basic internet access to broadband to mobile, Pew Internet research shows that each one has a multiplying effect on people’s behavior, making them more likely to share and to contribute to online conversations.

Pew Internet research also shows that people are using these technologies to connect with up-to-date health information and, more powerfully, with each other. The internet enables patients and caregivers to connect with those who share their same health concerns, creating a peer-to-peer network that clinicians can learn from as well.

You can now view a video of Susannah Fox's presentation on the rising power and prevalence of peer-to-peer healthcare, a presentation at Cincinnati Children's Hospital from January 24.

Pew Internet research in the news

Adults see more positive 'tone' on Facebook than teens: study, February 9

Pew study finds Facebook users receive more warm fuzzies than they give
Associated Press, February 3

Your Facebook friends have more friends than you
Washington Post, February 3

In case you missed it:

Report: The rise of in-store mobile commerce

Data set: January 2011 - Local News

Upcoming presentations:

February 15 » Meeting the Challenge of HIV/AIDS » Susannah Fox will discuss how the internet and cell phones are, in many ways, bringing us back to the basics, the human connections that have always been at the center of health and health care. The most important source of information, when someone needs health advice, is often not a website, or even a clinician, but another person who shares the same condition. Susannah will lead a discussion of the Pew Internet Project's research and how it intersects with the work of the Federal HIV/AIDS Web Council. A PDF of her presentation is available here.

February 18 » Speaking the language of the next generation » Lee Rainie will address the annual conference of the National Religious Broadcasters. He will focus on the media habits of Millennials and GenX and how their patterns of gathering and creating information are different in the digital age.

See all upcoming presentations »

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About us:

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit "fact tank"that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Pew Internet & American Life Project explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life. Support for the project is provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.