We have a new report out today, a typology of Americans’ engagement with public libraries. It caps off the past three years of research the Pew Research Center has produced on the topic of public libraries’ changing role in Americans’ lives and communities.

Some of the main findings:

  • Americans’ library habits do not exist in a vacuum: People’s connection—or lack of connection—with public libraries is part of their broader information and social landscape. As a rule, people who have extensive economic, social, technological, and cultural resources are also more likely to use and value libraries as part of those networks. 
  • Life stage and special circumstances are linked to increased library use and higher engagement with information: Deeper connections with public libraries are often associated with key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student, and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision.
  • Technology users are generally library users: A common narrative is that Americans are turning away from libraries because of newer technology, but the data shows that most highly-engaged library users are also big technology users. 

Check out the full report on our website! And if you’re curious about the basic data, this earlier report summarizes the measures we used to explore Americans’ engagement with public libraries.

New Report: Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online
We have a new report out today on how internet users navigate anonymity, privacy, and security online.
One of the big findings in the report is that young adults ages 18-29 are more likely than their elders to take steps to be hidden online, as this chart shows. Other findings:
21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
12% have been stalked or harassed online.
11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
6% have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.
Read more…

New Report: Anonymity, Privacy, and Security Online

We have a new report out today on how internet users navigate anonymity, privacy, and security online.

One of the big findings in the report is that young adults ages 18-29 are more likely than their elders to take steps to be hidden online, as this chart shows. Other findings:

  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 12% have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
  • 6% have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
  • 6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
  • 4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.

Read more

In light of our recent findings, you might be wondering how we actually define and calculate broadband adoption. We explain. http://pewrsr.ch/1dqgZ6S

In light of our recent findings, you might be wondering how we actually define and calculate broadband adoption. We explain. http://pewrsr.ch/1dqgZ6S

Slideshow: Tech trends, library stats, and how teens do research

Research Analyst Kathryn Zickuhr gave a presentation at the Westchester Library Association’s annual conference that touched on a lot of our recent findings on library use, as well as a broad overview of technology adoption among adults and teens and a quick look at how teens do research in the digital age. Take a look at her comprehensive slideshow.

“Overall, what would you say is the most NEGATIVE aspect of students today being able to conduct research online?”

“Overall, what would you say is the most NEGATIVE aspect of students today being able to conduct research online?”

(Source: pewinternet.org)

The perceived impact of the internet on student research, in a word:
“Overall, what would you say is the most POSITIVE aspect of students today being able to conduct research online?
A survey of Advanced Placement & National Writing Project teachers finds that teens’ research habits are changing in the digital age. They say the internet & digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work, but are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans”. Check out the full, detailed report, out today: http://pewrsr.ch/Ujc6yh

The perceived impact of the internet on student research, in a word:

Overall, what would you say is the most POSITIVE aspect of students today being able to conduct research online?

A survey of Advanced Placement & National Writing Project teachers finds that teens’ research habits are changing in the digital age. They say the internet & digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work, but are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans”. Check out the full, detailed report, out today: http://pewrsr.ch/Ujc6yh

(Source: pewinternet.org)

New report: For the first time, half of seniors use the internet. As of April 2012, 53% of American adults age 65 and older use the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, the latest data represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.

Read more

A great report out yesterday from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that cable leads the pack as the campaign news source, and Facebook and Twitter play only modest roles. Fewer Americans are closely following news about the presidential campaign than four years ago.

Also of note: 68% say they prefer to get political news from sources that do not have a political point of view, compared with just 23% who prefer news from sources that share their point of view. (via)

poptentlabs:

An interesting segment with Pew Senior Researcher Mary Madden on teenage behavior in regards to privacy, but one thing really caught my attention. Madden at around 1:46,

But they also have a variety of ways to customize and cloak their messaging on social media. Teens use private messaging channels, they use slang, they use jokes that may only be understood by peers. So just because someone is posting something broadly to a network it may not actually be intended for everyone in the network.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Mary Madden’s discussion of teens, privacy, and social network sites with Brooke Gladstone in last week’s On the Media here.

PS: The findings Mary discussed are from a larger report about teens’ positive and negative experiences on social media; the full report is available (for free!) on our website.

New Report: 58% of all adults say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun

Americans are increasingly going online just for fun and to pass the time. On any given day, 53% of all the young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time. Many of them go online in purposeful ways, as well. But the results of a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project show that young adults’ use of the internet can at times be simply for the diversion it presents. Indeed, 81% of all young adults in this age cohort report they have used the internet for this reason at least occasionally.
These results come in the larger context that internet users of all  ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for  no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58%  of all adults (or 74% of all online adults) say they use the internet  this way. And a third of all adults (34%) say they used the internet  that way “yesterday” – or the day before Pew Internet reached them for  the survey. Both figures are higher than in 2009 when we last asked this question  and vastly higher than in the middle of the last decade.

Read the full report
Read an article about the report from the Associated Press

New Report: 58% of all adults say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun

Americans are increasingly going online just for fun and to pass the time. On any given day, 53% of all the young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time. Many of them go online in purposeful ways, as well. But the results of a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project show that young adults’ use of the internet can at times be simply for the diversion it presents. Indeed, 81% of all young adults in this age cohort report they have used the internet for this reason at least occasionally.

These results come in the larger context that internet users of all ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58% of all adults (or 74% of all online adults) say they use the internet this way. And a third of all adults (34%) say they used the internet that way “yesterday” – or the day before Pew Internet reached them for the survey. Both figures are higher than in 2009 when we last asked this question and vastly higher than in the middle of the last decade.

Read the full report

Read an article about the report from the Associated Press

Among teen social media users:
93% have an account on Facebook
24% have an account on MySpace
12% have an account on Twitter
7% have an account on a Yahoo site
6% have an account on YouTube
2% have an account on each of the following: Skype, myYearbook, and Tumblr
1% have an account on Google Buzz
Read more in our recent report: Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites.

Among teen social media users:

  • 93% have an account on Facebook
  • 24% have an account on MySpace
  • 12% have an account on Twitter
  • 7% have an account on a Yahoo site
  • 6% have an account on YouTube
  • 2% have an account on each of the following: Skype, myYearbook, and Tumblr
  • 1% have an account on Google Buzz

Read more in our recent report: Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites.

New report: Why Americans use social media

Our latest report takes a quick but informative look at why Americans use social media:

Two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These internet users say that connections with family members and friends (both new and old) are a primary consideration in their adoption of social media tools. Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.

Other factors play a much smaller role—14% of users say that connecting around a shared hobby or interest is a major reason they use social media, and 9% say that making new friends is equally important. Reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners are cited as major factors by just 5% and 3% of social media users, respectively.

Read more

nprfreshair:

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at how mainstream media outlets use Twitter.

A new report from PEJ, based on analysis of more than 3,600 tweets over the course of a week, finds that news organizations use “Twitter primarily as an added means to disseminate their own material.” Read more in the full report at journalism.org.

nprfreshair:

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism looked at how mainstream media outlets use Twitter.

A new report from PEJ, based on analysis of more than 3,600 tweets over the course of a week, finds that news organizations use “Twitter primarily as an added means to disseminate their own material.” Read more in the full report at journalism.org.

From our new report: Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sitesPart 2: What teens experience and how they behave on social network sites 
The majority of teens have positive online experiences, but some are caught in an online feedback loop of meanness and negative experiences:
Most of the 77% of all teens who use social media say their experience is that people their age are mostly kind to one another on social network sites—overall, 69% say their experience is that peers are mostly kind to each other in social network spaces. Another 20% say their peers are mostly unkind, while 11% volunteered that “it depends.”
However, in a similar question asked of adults 18 and older, 85% of social media-using adults reported that their experience was that people are mostly kind to one another on social network sites, while just 5% reported that they see people behaving in mostly unkind ways.
When we asked them to describe how people act online, the results were pretty negative:

…but the teens who were asked about how they thought people should act online gave responses that were substantially more positive: 

Read more…

From our new report: Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites
Part 2: What teens experience and how they behave on social network sites 

The majority of teens have positive online experiences, but some are caught in an online feedback loop of meanness and negative experiences:

  • Most of the 77% of all teens who use social media say their experience is that people their age are mostly kind to one another on social network sites—overall, 69% say their experience is that peers are mostly kind to each other in social network spaces. Another 20% say their peers are mostly unkind, while 11% volunteered that “it depends.”
  • However, in a similar question asked of adults 18 and older, 85% of social media-using adults reported that their experience was that people are mostly kind to one another on social network sites, while just 5% reported that they see people behaving in mostly unkind ways.

When we asked them to describe how people act online, the results were pretty negative:

Word Cloud 1

…but the teens who were asked about how they thought people should act online gave responses that were substantially more positive: 

Word Cloud 2

Read more

From our new report: Teens, kindness and cruelty on social network sites - Teens and social network sites

We have a huge new report out today about how teens navigate interactions on social network sites and Twitter. It’s a big report, and covers a lot of ground—the above infographics are just from the first section, an overview of how many teens are on social media, who they are, and what they do there. More to follow…