By: Alec Hamilton
Most, if not all of us use social media extensively and in some cases depend upon it. However, who has stopped and asked “why do we use social media”? What purpose does it serve? Do we use it to network, stay in touch with relatives and friends, look for others with similar interests, or for romantic purposes? Mashable.com recently conducted a study on the reasons why U.S. adults use social media sites and tools.
According to the study, 66 percent of U.S. adults who are online use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Over 60 percent of those surveyed say that the primary reason they use social media is to stay in touch with family and friends, or reconnect with people they lost touch with. Older uses are, according to the study ages 50-64, are more likely to use social media to make new friends or find those with similar interests. Only a miniscule percentage claim romantic reasons for their social media use, while Twitter uses are much more likely to connect with celebrities or public figures than users of other social media.
This survey not only gives insight into social media use, but also provides information to be used against social media detractors. People who criticize social media and emphasize the need for face-to-face interaction, as well as those who claim today’s generation has become detract, should look at the statistics in the article. The most common reason of social media use, staying connected with friends and family, can hardly be seen as being disconnected and actually allows for more interaction than if it was only limited to in-person and is the opposite of being detached.
Do you agree with these statistics? What are your own reasons for using social media? How valuable is your use of social media and what about those who say social media is a distraction and harming current generations?