New Research Contrasts Social Media Experiences of Adults and Teens

An interesting new report was released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project today; researchers Lee Rainie, Amanda Lenhart and Aaron Smith investigated the tone of life on social networking sites with a national survey of online adults in the U.S.

According to the researchers, the overall social and emotional climate of social networking sites (SNS) is a very positive one where adult users get personal rewards and satisfactions at far higher levels than they encounter anti-social people or have ill consequences from their encounters. The study found:

 

  • 85% of SNS-using adults say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation.
  • 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves.
  • 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.)
  • 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior “only once in a while” and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.

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