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Social Media and Young Adults - Pew

February, 2010

Two Pew Internet Project surveys of teens and adults reveal a decline in blogging among teens and young adults and a modest rise among adults 30 and older. In 2006, 28% of teens ages 12-17 and young adults ages 18-29 were bloggers, but by 2009 the numbers had dropped to 14% of teens and 15% of young adults. During the same period, the percentage of online adults over thirty who were bloggers rose from 7% blogging in 2006 to 11% in 2009.
Much of the drop in blogging among younger internet users may be attributable to changes in social network use by teens and young adults. Nearly three quarters (73%) of online teens and an equal number (72%) of young adults use social network sites. By contrast, older adults have not kept pace; some 40% of adults 30 and older use the social sites in the fall of 2009.

New survey results also show that among adults 18 and older, Facebook has taken over as the social network of choice; 73% of adult profile owners use Facebook, 48% have a profile on MySpace and 14% use LinkedIn. "Blogging appears to have lost its luster for many young users," said Amanda Lenhart, lead author of the report. "The fad stage is over for teens and young adults and the move to Facebook -- which lacks a specific tool for blogging within the network -- may have contributed to the decline of blogging among young adults and teens."

Other findings include:
  • Teens ages 12-17 do not use Twitter in large numbers - just 8% of online teens 12-17 say they ever use Twitter, a percentage similar to the number who use virtual worlds. This puts Twitter far down the list of popular online activities for teens and stands in stark contrast to their record of being early adopters of nearly every online activity.
  • More young adults own a laptop (66%) than a desktop computer (53%).
  • 81% of the 18-29 age group goes online wirelessly compared with 63% of 30-49 year olds and 34% of those ages 50 and older. Roughly half of 18-29 year olds have accessed the internet wirelessly on a laptop (54%) or on a cell phone (55%), and about one quarter of 18-29 year olds (28%) have accessed the internet wirelessly on a device other than a laptop or cell phone.
  • Nearly half (48%) of online teens buy things online like books, clothing or music, a practice that has been steadily increasing since the question was first asked in December 2000, when 31% of online teens made online purchases. Older teens ages 14-17 are more likely to buy items online - more than half (53%) of online teens in this age group have purchased items online, while 38% of middle school aged teens have made online purchases.

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