Religiously active Americans are more tied to many civic and other organizations than non-religious Americans. Many report that their use of technology helps them in their group activities.
The top reason cited by adults for using social media is to maintain connections with family and friends. Social media users also say these platforms help connect them to old friends with whom they've lost touch.
Close to half of all adults now use social networking sites (SNS) -- double the number users in 2008 -- and the average user is getting older. Are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? A new study finds SNS users more trusting, engaged and able to keep close social ties.
Eight-in-ten internet users have looked online for health information such as a specific disease or treatment, and an increasing number are sharing their own medical experiences and thoughts on the internet.
Studies in three cities show that if people believe their local government shares information well, they also feel good about their town and its civic institutions. Those who are avid information consumers from news media and online sources are more likely to be involved and feel they have impact.
About one-in-five internet users have gone online to find others who have health concerns similar to theirs. Those with chronic conditions are even more likely to reach out to peers for health information. Still, most turn to health professionals when in need of medical information.
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.