Pew Survey: More than Half Online Use Social Sites

Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61 percent one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that more than half of all adults use social networking sites.

The frequency of social networking site usage among young adult internet users under age 30 was stable over the last year – 61 percent of online Americans in that age group  now use social networking sites on a typical day, compared with 60 percent one year ago.

However, among internet users ages 50-64, social networking site usage on a typical day grew from 20 percent  to 32 percent.

“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.”

In a separate question, when social networking users were asked for one word to describe their experiences using social networking sites, “good” was the most common response (as seen in this word cloud). Overall, positive responses far outweighed the negative and neutral words that were associated with social networking sites (more than half of the respondents used positive terms). Users repeatedly described their experiences as “fun,” “great,” “interesting” and “convenient.” Less common were superlatives such as “astounding,” “necessity,” and “empowering.”

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