LatinaLista -- With every natural disaster, juicy celebrity gossip or disruptive political happening, the role of social media takes on greater importance. Yet, there are two other things people do online that overshadow the popularity of social media -- send and check email and use search engines.
That's according to the latest study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
In the new report released last week about people's usage of social media, the Pew researchers found that now 65 percent of online adults use social media. It's a significant figure because now, according to the Pew, "for the first time in Pew Internet surveys it means that half of all adults (50%) use social networking sites."
Guess which gender is the biggest user?
If you guessed men, you're wrong!
The research found:
Women are also more active in their use of these sites, with almost half of female internet users using social networking sites on a typical day (48%), compared with 38% of male internet users.
While there wasn't a huge gap between white, black and Latino users, blacks at 69 percent topped social media users with Latinos coming in from behind at 66 percent and whites trailing at 63 percent.
Of course, it almost goes without saying that the age group best represented among social media users is the 18-29 generation BUT older users are increasing their numbers.
However, among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users ages 50-64, social networking sites (SNS) usage on a typical day grew a rigorous 60% (from 20% to 32%). And unlike the general growth in SNS adoption among those ages 65 and older, the frequency of use among the oldest group of internet users did not increase significantly over the past year.
And unlike in the past when the older generation would pass judgement on the latest technology in derogatory terms -- ever hear people refer to the television as the "boob tube"? -- most everyone likes using social media.
When social networking users were asked for one word to describe their experiences using social networking sites, "good" was the most common response.
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."
Yet, empowering is what can be assumed since the difference between those with less than a high school education and those with a college degree who use social media is only 1 percentage point -- 68 percent vs. 67 percent respectively.
If another word were to be used, it would almost seem to be "equality."