Teens, kindness and cruelty on the social web

The majority of teen social media users find online social networks to be “mostly kind” spaces, yet 88% have witnessed mean or cruel behavior there.

15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on the sites.

Parents and peers serve as the most important influences and sources of advice on online safety issues.

As social media use has become pervasive in the lives of American teens, a new study by Pew finds that 69% of the teenagers who use social networking sites say their peers are mostly kind to one another on such sites. Still, 88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites.

Adult social network users are less likely to say they witness or experience this type of behavior, but they still report that it is prevalent: 69% of the adults who use social networking sites say they have seen people be mean and cruel to others on those sites.

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Half of American adults use Facebook or other social networks

Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago, according to new data released by the Pew Research Center. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social networking sites. The frequency of social networking site usage among young adult internet users under age 30 was stable over the last year – 61% of online Americans in that age cohort now use social networking sites on a typical day, compared with 60% one year ago. However, among the Boomer-aged segment of internet users ages 50-64, social networking site usage on a typical day grew a significant 60% (from 20% to 32%).

“The graying of social networking sites continues, but the oldest users are still far less likely to be making regular use of these tools,” said Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the report. “While seniors are testing the waters, many Baby Boomers are beginning to make a trip to the social media pool part of their daily routine.”

In a separate question, when social networking users were asked for one word to describe their experiences using social networking sites, “good” was the most common response (as seen in this word cloud). 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.”

To read the report visit http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Social-Networking-Sites/Overview.aspx

 

 

New study shows social media influences where students choose to enroll for college

Educational Value is Prime Consideration in Students’ College Enrollment Choice, Though Economy Still Weighs on Decisions, Study Finds

Even two years after the height of the recession, economic concerns continue to influence where students choose to enroll for college, forcing many into a school that was not their first choice, according to the latest research from Maguire Associates and Fastweb.com. Ultimately, though, the primary factor in students’ decisions is a combination of perceived educational quality and costs.

Nearly 2,400 high school seniors were surveyed in follow-up to the annual College Decision Impact Survey that was conducted in January for insights into the factors that were most important in determining where these students enrolled. Key factors included use of social media and reliance on schools’ individual net price calculators (NPCs), which all US colleges and universities will be required to provide on their websites by late October 2011.

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Teens and the Media: Television is Dead and Facebook is Irresistible

The “media” is an undeniably powerful entity in our daily lives.  It’s even more invasive for teens and college students, a generation growing up with more forms of media choices than any other generation before them. “Stage of Life,” a blogging resource for high school students, Baby Boomers, and every life stage in between, wanted to know how teens felt about the media, so they asked its teen and college visitors, “What form of media impacts your life the most, and why?” as part of its national monthly writing contest series for students. [Read more…]

What Americans Do Online: Social Media and Games Dominate Activity

Americans spend nearly a quarter of their time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago (43 percent increase) according to new research released from The Nielsen Company.

The latest from Nielsen research shows that Americans devote six hours of online time every month to social networking sites and blogs. That’s almost a quarter of the time they spend on the Internet, up from 16 percent just a year ago.

“Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities – social networking, playing games and emailing leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie,” said Nielsen analyst Dave Martin in a press release.

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More Women Engaging Social Media, Prefer Facebook

Among Women, Facebook Dominates and Twitter is Growing Rapidly; But Study Reveals Important Differences in Social Network Usage

Women have truly integrated social media into every part of their lives, from friends and family, to networking, to shopping. SheSpeaks today announced the findings of a new study, revealing 86% of women are now using popular social networks, a 48% increase compared to one year ago. In addition, social networks including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, have emerged as key drivers of purchase intent among women, with one-half (50%) of social media users reporting they have purchased products because of information on social networking sites, and 40% reporting they have used coupon codes found on social networks.

The second annual Social Media Study of the national SheSpeaks membership, yielding more than 1,500 responses, revealed the most dramatic increase in social media use was among women 50+ years of age, whose participation grew from 31% in 2008 to 70% in 2009. Social media participation was up across all age groups this year, with participation among younger women up 10% compared to 2008. In addition, more women are frequently logging into social networking sites since 2008, with 36% more women reporting they log in at least once per day (73% vs. 53%).

“Last year our members were going online primarily to research purchases, but now they are looking to social media to help them research, guide and facilitate every kind of transaction, from social exchanges to purchases,” said Aliza Freud, Founder and CEO of SheSpeaks. “Women have become more comfortable using social media, and for marketers, the overall growth and habitual use of social media represents opportunities to reach and engage women of all ages, and influence their purchase decisions.”

Facebook has dominated social media this year with 95% of those women who use social networks on Facebook, up 46% from one year ago. MySpace participation declined over the last year (63% to 42%), while nearly 40% of the women surveyed reported they have Twitter accounts. Although many women use both Facebook and Twitter, an astounding 80% prefer Facebook. In fact, 25% of those surveyed abandoned Twitter after creating their accounts, while Facebook use only declined 7% for women after creating Twitter accounts. Facebook users also reported they are two times more likely to log in daily (72%), compared to Twitter users (36%).

 “Although Facebook is currently more popular than Twitter among women, they each share a purpose in women’s lives,” said Freud. “Facebook serves women’s need to interact with friends and share photos, while Twitter has become a tool that is primarily used for professional networking and learning about up-to-the-minute news, promotions and deals.”

The study also found online video has grown in popularity over the last year. Almost 40% of the women surveyed reported they frequently watch video and TV content online, and 85% say they watch it frequently or sometimes. A separate poll of SheSpeaks members found that clips from news and TV programming were the most commonly watched type of online video in the prior week (68%), followed by videos that are forwarded (49%), full news and TV programs (40%), and videos posted by friends (40%). Entertaining advertisements were the least popular type of video, but were still watched by one-third of women within the last week.

“Our members are spending more time watching video on the Web, especially now that more premium content is available,” said SheSpeaks CMO Fiona Pietruski. “It is important for marketers to recognize that influential female consumers are spending their time with many types of digital media, where they can be reached with advertising and marketing messaging.”

Additional results from the SheSpeaks Second Annual Social Media Study can be found at: www.shespeaks.com/research.

About SheSpeaks
SheSpeaks is a social media platform that creates and operates consumer insights and influencer communities. At Shespeaks.com, women members gain access to products and services, and a forum to offer their honest feedback directly to the companies that create them. For participating brands, including Garnier, Heinz, Food Network, Philips, AOL and more, SheSpeaks offers a tremendous opportunity to spark consumer’s interest, obtain candid feedback, grow word-of-mouth awareness and build long-term brand advocates. Clients also work with SheSpeaks to facilitate branded experiences, including home parties and branded online communities. For more information, visit www.shespeaks.com/corp.