Social Side of the Internet
The internet is having a wide-ranging impact on Americans’ engagement with civic, social and religious organizations, as groups and their members use digital tools — such as Facebook and Twitter — to bind themselves together and pursue goals.
Global Publics Embrace Social Networking
Although still a relatively young technology, social networking is already a global phenomenon. A 22-nation survey finds that in regions around the world, people who use the internet are using it for social networking. Cell phone ownership and computer usage are also increasingly popular across the globe.
When asked specifically if they are on Twitter, rather than a generic status-updating site, 8% of online adults say they use the popular social media tool. Tweeting is especially popular among young adults, minorities and those who live in cities.
Just Checking In: 4% Share Location with Mobile Device
Among online adults, 4% use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are nearby.
Video Calling and Video Chat
Almost a fifth of American adults (19%) have tried video calling either online or via their cell phones. This translates into nearly a quarter (23%) of internet users and 7% of cell-phone owners who have participated in video calls, chats or teleconferences.
Older Adults and Social Media
The number of older adults on Facebook and other social networking sites has roughly doubled in the past year. About half of internet users ages 50-64 and one-in-four users ages 65 and older now log onto social networks.
Millennials’ Likely Lifelong Online Sharing Habit
Technology experts generally believe that today’s tech-savvy young people — the ‘digital natives’ who are known for enthusiastically embracing social networking and other online tools — will retain their willingness to share personal information online even as they get older and take on more responsibilities.
The Future of Online Socializing
The social benefits of internet use will far outweigh the negatives over the next decade, according to experts. Email, social networks, and other online tools offer low friction opportunities to create, enhance, and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people’s lives and lower traditional communications constraints of cost, geography, and time.
Managing Your Online Profile
Reputation management has become a defining feature of online life, especially among younger Americans. Search engines and social media sites play a central role in building one’s reputation. Many have begun changing privacy settings on profiles, customizing who can see what and deleting unwanted information online.
Chronic Disease and the Internet
Americans living with a chronic disease are significantly less likely than healthy adults to have internet access. The majority are online, however, and they are more likely to share what they know and to learn from their peers.