Fast facts: The tone of life on social networking sites

  • 85% of adult social networking site users say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation.
  • 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves.
  • 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.)
  • 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior “only once in a while” and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.
  • 15% of adult SNS users said they had an experience on the site that ended their friendship with someone. That is somewhat less than the 22% of SNS-using teens who reported having this problem.
  • 12% of adult SNS users had an experience that resulted in a face-to-face argument or confrontation with someone. Fully 25% of SNS-using teens said this had happened to them as a result of their using the site.

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    Fast Facts: Cell Phones
Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information seeking and communicating—83% of American adults have a cell phone of some kind. Though roughly nine in ten (92%) adults ages 18-49 own a cell phone,  ownership starts to drop off after age 50, with 82% of adults ages 50-64 and 55% of those 65 and older owning a mobile phone.
Text messaging and picture taking continue to top the list of ways that Americans use their mobile phones—three quarters of all cell owners (73%) use their phones for each of these purposes. Other relatively common activities include sending photos or videos to others (54% of cell owners do this) as well as accessing the internet (44%).
Among cell phone owners, 42% own a smartphone. That translates into 35% of all adults. Several demographic groups have high levels of smartphone adoption, including the financially well-off and well-educated, non-whites, and those under the age of 45.
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Trends in Americans’ gadget ownership
How adults in the US use their cell phones
Smartphone ownership and use

    Fast Facts: Cell Phones

    Mobile phones have become a near-ubiquitous tool for information seeking and communicating—83% of American adults have a cell phone of some kind. Though roughly nine in ten (92%) adults ages 18-49 own a cell phone,  ownership starts to drop off after age 50, with 82% of adults ages 50-64 and 55% of those 65 and older owning a mobile phone.

    Text messaging and picture taking continue to top the list of ways that Americans use their mobile phones—three quarters of all cell owners (73%) use their phones for each of these purposes. Other relatively common activities include sending photos or videos to others (54% of cell owners do this) as well as accessing the internet (44%).

    Among cell phone owners, 42% own a smartphone. That translates into 35% of all adults. Several demographic groups have high levels of smartphone adoption, including the financially well-off and well-educated, non-whites, and those under the age of 45.

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    Neighboring in America is up: In 2008, a full 31% of Americans reported that they did not know any of their neighbors by name; in 2010, only 18% of Americans do not know the name of at least some of  their neighbors.
What explains this trend? It might be that the persistence of the  poor economic conditions of the American economy has prompted — or  necessitated — that people to turn to their neighbors for informal  support. It would be premature to suggest that this current trend is  part of a gradual increase in social capital in America.
Additionally, when we controlled for demographic characteristics, we found that internet and non-internet users are equally as likely as others to know at least some of their neighbors. This is a departure from our findings in 2008 when we found that social networking site users were less likely to know the names of their neighbors.

    Neighboring in America is up: In 2008, a full 31% of Americans reported that they did not know any of their neighbors by name; in 2010, only 18% of Americans do not know the name of at least some of their neighbors.

    What explains this trend? It might be that the persistence of the poor economic conditions of the American economy has prompted — or necessitated — that people to turn to their neighbors for informal support. It would be premature to suggest that this current trend is part of a gradual increase in social capital in America.

    Additionally, when we controlled for demographic characteristics, we found that internet and non-internet users are equally as likely as others to know at least some of their neighbors. This is a departure from our findings in 2008 when we found that social networking site users were less likely to know the names of their neighbors.

    As of December 2010, 77% of American adults use the internet. Only 14% of adults went online in 1995; the number hit 50% in 2000, and by 2005 seven in ten adults were officially (by our count) “internet users.” The proportion of the American population who uses the internet has been relatively stable over the past few years, bouncing around between 73-79% since 2007.
Want to dig deeper? You can download the data behind this chart as an Excel spreadsheet on our website.
Related charts: See who’s online and what they’re doing there.

    As of December 2010, 77% of American adults use the internet. Only 14% of adults went online in 1995; the number hit 50% in 2000, and by 2005 seven in ten adults were officially (by our count) “internet users.” The proportion of the American population who uses the internet has been relatively stable over the past few years, bouncing around between 73-79% since 2007.

    Want to dig deeper? You can download the data behind this chart as an Excel spreadsheet on our website.

    Related charts: See who’s online and what they’re doing there.

    New report: 13% of online adults use Twitter
13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as Twitter users in November 2010. 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device.
As in our previous research on Twitter use, African Americans and Latinos continue to have high rates of adoption of the service. Fully 25% of online African Americans use Twitter at least occasionally, with 11% doing so on a typical day.
Additionally, Twitter use by internet users ages 25-34 has doubled since late 2010 (from 9% to 19%) and usage by those ages 35-44 has also grown significantly (from 8% to 14%). Read more…

    New report: 13% of online adults use Twitter

    13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as Twitter users in November 2010. 95% of Twitter users own a mobile phone, and half of these users access the service on their handheld device.

    As in our previous research on Twitter use, African Americans and Latinos continue to have high rates of adoption of the service. Fully 25% of online African Americans use Twitter at least occasionally, with 11% doing so on a typical day.

    Additionally, Twitter use by internet users ages 25-34 has doubled since late 2010 (from 9% to 19%) and usage by those ages 35-44 has also grown significantly (from 8% to 14%). Read more

    After years of modest activity, online phone calling has taken  off: As of May 2011, a quarter (24%) of American adult internet users have placed  phone calls online with a service such as Skype or Vonage. (That amounts to 19% of all American adults.)

    After years of modest activity, online phone calling has taken off: As of May 2011, a quarter (24%) of American adult internet users have placed phone calls online with a service such as Skype or Vonage. (That amounts to 19% of all American adults.)

    What people do online
According to our December 2010 survey, 77% of American adults use the internet. Click through to see what they do online, or to download the data behind this table as an Excel spreadsheet.
Related: What people do online in a typical day

    What people do online

    According to our December 2010 survey, 77% of American adults use the internet. Click through to see what they do online, or to download the data behind this table as an Excel spreadsheet.

    Related: What people do online in a typical day

    Source: The Internet and Campaign 2010, by Aaron Smith (2011), based on Pew Internet November 2010 survey

    Source: Americans under age 40 are as likely to donate to Japan disaster relief through electronic means as traditional means, by Kristen Purcell and Michael Dimock (2011), based on Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index survey, March 17-20 2011

    Source: Reputation Management and Social Media, by Mary Madden and Aaron Smith (2010), based on Pew Internet September 2009 survey