Social media fans were all a twitter last week about a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, “Social Networking Sites and Our Lives.” The most pronounced finding across all social networking sites (SNS) was that active social networking participation does not, as is commonly opined, result in social isolation or a lack of relational intimacy. Further, SNS participation tends to enrich rather than diminish participation in face-to-face relationships.
Key findings of the report focused on the dominant site, Facebook, where some 92% of social network users have a profile. Among a long list of virtues, Pew researchers found that:
* Facebook users are more trusting than non-SNS users.
* Facebook users have more close relationships than non-SNS users.
* Facebook users get more social support than non-SNS users.
* Facebook revives “dormant” relationships that are lost to non-SNS users.
After a couple years of being derided for their brain-rotted shallowness, it should come as no surprise that in no time at all, my network of witty Facebook and Twitter friends added to the list of laudable social networking aficionado qualities:
* We floss after every meal!
* We freed Egypt!
* We’re grounded, and well integrated, intuitive, not too full of ourselves, yet fully realized in the fabulous glow of our authenticity. Gosh we’re swell!
* We’re God’s chosen Tweeters!
To read the full article: God’s Chosen Tweeters? | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches.
To read the content of “Social networking sites and our lives”, follow the link above.
Excerpt from “Social networking sites and our lives”:
Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine social networking sites in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement.
The findings presented here paint a rich and complex picture of the role that digital technology plays in people’s social worlds. Wherever possible, we seek to disentangle whether people’s varying social behaviors and attitudes are related to the different ways they use social networking sites, or to other relevant demographic characteristics, such as age, gender and social class.
You can read the full report here.