Social networking sites are a big part of our lives. Facebook is the second most visited website in the US and Twitter is the fifth most visited, according to Quantcast. MySpace and LinkedIn are also extremely popular.
Numbers aside, we all feel their impact in everything from keeping in touch with friends to finding jobs.
Below are 5 interesting findings from a massive report Pew produced on social networking sites:
1. Facebook users have strong personal relationships compared to the general population.
Facebook users on average have 9 percent more discussion confidants, or people with whom they can discuss important matters.
They also score higher on social support. Their gap above the general population is similar to the boost people on average receive when they get married.
2. Facebook users mostly friend people they know.
Only 3 percent of Facebook friends are online only and only 7 percent of Facebook friends have only met once offline.
However, many Facebook friends might not see each other daily. For example, they once knew each other through high school (22 percent) or are extended family members (12 percent).
3. MySpace users are more open-minded than the general population.
MySpace users score significantly higher on “perspective talking,” or the ability to consider multiple points of view (including those that differ from their personal beliefs).
4. MySpace users are the least educated. LinkedIn users are the most educated.
Among MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, MySpace has the greatest percentage of users who have not graduated from high school (11 percent) and have no education beyond high school (35 percent). It also has the least percentage of users who have attended graduate school (6 percent).
Contrastingly, LinkedIn has the least percentage of users with less than a high school education (2 percent) and highest percentage of users who have graduate degrees (38 percent).
5. Women use social networking sites more than men.
In 2008, men were already the online social networking minority at 47 percent. In 2010, that figure dropped to 44 percent.
Also, 8 percent of female Facebook users update their status several times per day while only 3 percent of male Facebook users do so. The same pattern is observed for comments on Facebook posts and photos.