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According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, social networking has become more mainstream among adults. That includes me, at least the last time I checked the crow’s feet in my 10x magnification mirror.
According to the folks at Pew, the number of adult internet users who have a profile on an online social network site has more than quadrupled in the past four years — from 8% four years ago, to 35% now. That’s amazing, and encouraging. I have conducted a number of workshops on the subject of social media, and I still get attendees who look like deer in the headlights when I talk about Facebook, LinkedIn, and the whole sphere of social networking and social bookmarking.
On the other hand, I get plenty of people — of all ages — who are eager to dive right in.
Although those of us over the age of 18 stumbling through the social networks should be proud of ourselves for trying, don’t get cocky. We’re still light-years behind those lucky kids between the ages of 12 to 17. A whopping 65 percent of those crazy kids have an online profile on one of the big social networks — Facebook and MySpace, primarily.
It seems that the older we get, the less use we seem to have for social networks.
According to the Pew study, 75% of adults ages 18-24 use these networks, compared to just 7% of adults 65 and older. “At its core, use of online social networks is still a phenomenon of the young,” the study says.
Other age groups and their use of social networking sites:
— 57 percent of those aged 25 to 34
— 30 percent of those ages 35 to 44
— 19 percent of those aged 45 to 54
— 10 percent of those aged 55 to 64
Another interesting finding: We adults use social networks for professional and personal reasons, and we often maintain multiple profiles, generally on different sites.
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