Social networkers, you’re still a minority in the United States, but just barely.
A new Pew Internet report
, released June 16, found that 47 percent of all U.S. adults use a social networking site. That’s nearly double the percentage of users from 2008, when only 26 percent of adults used an online network.
Facebook dominates the list of most-used sites, with 92 percent of respondents naming it their social network of choice. MySpace (29 percent), LinkedIn (18 percent), and Twitter (13 percent) round out the top four.
Even though Twitter ranks fourth, it has the second-most active members, after Facebook. The study said that 52 percent of Facebook users and 33 percent of Twitter users interact with the sites daily.
Though the Internet may seem like an escape from the real world, the study found that Facebook users tend to have closer relationships and stronger emotional support than Americans who don’t spend their day “liking” status updates.
People who check Facebook several times a day averaged 9 percent more close ties within their social network than other online users. These avid Facebook users also scored higher when asked how much emotional support they receive in their lives.
Social media is also keeping people engaged in the political process. Active Facebook users, in particular, were more than twice as likely to attend a political rally than the average American, and 43 percent more likely to say they were planning to vote.
So, stop scoffing at the
avid Facebook users in your life. They might be more tuned into the real world than you are.