SAN FRANCISCO — The calendar may say 2014, but in tech culture this week actually marks the year 10 A. What did we poor humans do before the advent of Mark Zuckerberg's collegiate brainstorm?
Let's see, we smiled when we "liked" something, we dialed the phone to "update" friends and "tagging" was a kids' game.
Additionally, men are a bit more likely than women to use these sites to connect around a hobby or interest—56% of male users say that this is either a major or minor reason for their usage of these sites, compared with 44% of female users.
Connecting with public figures online is relatively popular among Twitter users, as well as African Americans and Latinos Among social media users as a whole, the ability to read comments by public figures such as politicians, celebrities or athletes does not come into play as a major factor—fully three quarters of users say that this plays no role whatsoever in their decision to use these sites.
And while connecting with public figures has a relatively modest impact on users across a range of groups, both African Americans and Latinos show more interest in this activity than white users.
One in ten black social media users (10%) and 11% of Latinos say that reading comments from public figures is a major reason for using these sites (compared with just 3% of white users).
About this survey The results reported here are based on a national telephone survey of 2,277 adults conducted April 26-May 22, 2011.
1,522 interviews were conducted by landline phone, and 755 interviews were conducted by cell phone.
To be sure, many Americans are currently in relationships or may not otherwise be seeking dating or romantic partners in any venue (on social networking sites or otherwise).
Among those users who identify themselves as single, separated or divorced, 6% say that finding romantic or dating partners is a major reason why they use these sites (an additional 27% say that this is a minor reason for their social media usage).
Finding potential dating partners is at most a minor element of the social media experience Very few social media users say that finding potential romantic partners or people to date plays a role in their use of these sites—overall more than eight in ten (84%) do not use these sites for that purpose at all.
Most of the remainder say that the prospect of romance is only a minor reason.
Staying in touch with family members is a major factor across a range of social media users, but it’s especially important to women Those who say that keeping up with family members is a major consideration in their use of social networking sites are a demographically diverse group.