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Social Media and You: Social Technology Trends United States

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One third of U.S. adults are more comfortable sharing information online than in person and one in five admits to sharing false information online, the new survey sponosred by Intel says. Intel's 2012 "Mobile Etiquette" survey evaluated the current state of mobile manners. If it wasn't for the ability to share and consume information online via mobile devices, nearly half of U.S. adults (46%) feel they would not know what is happening with their family and friends. 85% share information online (Hansen, 2012).


39% of Americans spend more time socializing online compared to face-to-face, more than in the U.K. (36%) and Germany (35%), according to a study by Badoo. Aside from feelings of loneliness, the survey revealed that people could embellish the truth when sharing online, perhaps to appear more interesting to others, or to "control" their online persona. 25% of American respondents admit they have exaggerated or lied about who they've met or what they've done on their social networks, with a staggering 39% having shared bad news, such as a death or divorce (Thompson, 2012).


Myth: Teens are the biggest gamers of all
Reality: Teens (12-17 years of age) account for just 23% of the console audience and less than 10% of PC game minutes (Nielsen, 2009)

Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week), and because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those 7½ hours (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2009)

Technololgy Used by Students
(Nielson, 2009)

Teens and social networks
(PewInternet, 2010)

Teen activities on sms
(PewInternet, 2010)

Twitter use for teens
(PewInternet, 2010)

Kids use of technology
(Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010)

Media use for children
(Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010)

Types of media children have
(Project Tomorrow, 2009)

Access to technology
(Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010)


79% of American adults said they used the internet and nearly half of adults (47%), or 59% of internet users, say they use at least one of SNS. This is close to double the 26% of adults (34% of internet users) who used a SNS in 2008. Among other things, this means the average age of adult-SNS users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010. Over half of all adult SNS users are now over the age of 35. Some 56% of SNS users now are female.

Facebook dominates the SNS space in this survey: 92% of SNS users are on Facebook; 29% use MySpace, 18% used LinkedIn and 13% use Twitter.

There is considerable variance in the way people use various social networking sites: 52% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platform daily, while only 7% of MySpace and 6% of LinkedIn users do the same.

On Facebook on an average day:


For 8 to 18 Year Olds in the U.S., top online activities include social networking (:22 a day), playing games (:17), and visiting video sites such as YouTube (:15).  

Three-quarters (74%) of all 7th-12th graders say they have a profile on a social networking site (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010b).

Adult use of social networking sites


As of September 2009, 47% of online adults used a social networking website, compared with the 73% of teens who did so at a comparable point in time. The percentage of adults who use online social networks has grown from 8% of internet users in February 2005 to 16% in August 2006 to 37% in November 2008. On a typical day in 2009, just over one-quarter (27%) of adult internet users visited a social networking site (PewInternet, 2010).

(PewInternet, 2010)

What SNS adults use

(PewInternet, 2010)

Twitter use by adults

There is little variation in the use of status update services based on race, ethnicity or socio-economic status; however, online women (21% of whom use Twitter or other status update services) are more likely to use these services than men (17% of whom do so) (PewInternet, 2010).

Adult Use

(Nielsen, 2009)


Virtual worlds are persistent online play spaces which allow users to determine the direction of game play. Teen use of virtual worlds has remained steady since February 2008 – currently, 8% of online teens say they visit virtual worlds like Gaia, Second Life or Habbo Hotel, similar to the 10% of such teens who visited virtual worlds in 2008.

As we saw in 2008, younger teens continue to be more enthusiastic users of virtual worlds – 11% of online teens 12-13 use virtual worlds, while 7% of teen internet users 14-17 use them. There is no difference in virtual world use between boys and girls, by race or ethnicity or household income.  

Use of virtual worlds is more common among teens than among adults. In September 2009 we measured virtual world usage among adults for the first time and found that 4% of online adults visit virtual worlds. Usage of virtual worlds is relatively consistent across age cohorts, with 4% of internet users under age 30 and 4% of those thirty and up visiting virtual worlds. Among adults there are no differences on virtual world use related to gender, race/ethnicity, income, or education (PewInternet, 2010).


Where we got our news yesterday

(Pew Research, 2010)

How often we get news

(Pew Research, 2010)