Pew Research: Social Networking and Teens

The Pew Internet and American Life Project released the findings of a recent study of American teenagers and their use of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. The study found that More than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking sites. The numbers are significantly higher for older (ages 15-17) as 70% have created profiles on a social networking site. Here are some other interesting points from the study:

  • 66% of teens who have created a profile say that their profile is not visible to all internet users. They limit access to their profiles.
  • 48% of teens visit social networking websites daily or more often; 26% visit once a day, 22% visit several times a day.
  • Older girls ages 15-17 are more likely to have used social networking sites and created online profiles; 70% of older girls have used an online social network compared with 54% of older boys, and 70% of older girls have created an online profile, while only 57% of older boys have done so.
  • 91% of all social networking teens say they use the sites to stay in touch with friends they see frequently, while 82% use the sites to stay in touch with friends they rarely see in person.
  • 72% of all social networking teens use the sites to make plans with friends; 49% use the sites to make new friends.
  • Older boys who use social networking sites (ages 15-17) are more likely than girls of the same age to say that they use social networking sites to make new friends (60% vs. 46%).

1 comment:

Joe said...

For me, the most interesting stat was the 49% of teens who use social networking to meet new people. SNS members primarily use the tools to maintain loose connections and associations, as opposed to striking random friendships with strangers.

I would imagine this observation is even more apparent in non-teens.

In Orkut, I read that users from India organize themselves according to caste. The social networks more or less represent our real-life social structures... users are not escaping reality to enter a completely virtual world.