Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Rich Or Poor, You've Probably Friended Someone Recently

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 26 2011

Half of all Americans and 65 percent of Internet users use social networks, according to a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that also reveals use of the social tools crosses lines of race and class.

Other Pew research has shown, for instance, that black and Hispanic people are more likely to use a smartphone than their white counterparts — which would be of interest to researchers looking for ways to get information and civic participation across the gap in access to broadband Internet that separates rich and poor, given that roughly 25 percent of people of color live in poverty and are more likely to be unemployed, except that smartphone use also skews sharply towards higher-income folks. This survey, however, shows shows that well over two-thirds of Internet users in all income groups use tools like Facebook and twitter: 68 percent of people with a household income of less than $30,000 per year, 63 percent in households earning between $50,000 and $74,999 per year, and 68 percent of people in households wealtheir than that, according to the study. The differences in those numbers are not statistically significant.

The breakdown is the same regardless of where Americans live, too: Roughly two thirds of city dwellers, suburbanites and country folk are all sharing their lives online.

Just because everyone uses social media doesn't mean everyone likes it, however. Pew asked survey takers to give one word to describe their experiences using social networking sites. While "good" was the most common response, here's a little bit about what else they heard:

negative responses were recorded for roughly one in five respondents who answered this question and these answers included a far more diverse array of adjectives and, at times, expletives. Frustrations were evident among respondents who described their experiences using the networks as “annoying,” “overwhelming,” “boring,” “confusing” and “overrated.” Many respondents offered the words “addictive” or “addicting” as the first thing that came to their mind, while a sizable ambivalent group said their experiences had simply been “okay.” These neutral descriptions were also quite varied, though terms that indicated little experience with the sites—such as “Rarely,” “Seldom” or “Occasionally”—were common in this group.

Another response to this open-ended question? "Glitches."

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Creeping

Senator Al Franken's tough questions for Uber's CEO; how the NSA could make its phone metadata program permanent; global privacy groups launch a personal spyware catcher called Detekt; and much, much more. GO

Recreation.gov and other Govt Projects Move Toward Embracing New Digital Approach

A draft request for proposals for the revamping of Recreation.gov will include a requirement that reservation availability data be publicly accessible and that all proposals detail how they will enable third-party sales, as two members of the United States Digital Services have joined the government team overseeing the RFP, meeting some key demands of civic technologists and consumer oriented technology companies. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Ubermenschens

Surge-pricing in effect for Uber privacy violations; why "privacy" policies should be called "data usage" policies; pols silent on Uber mess; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Uber Falles

Uber exposed for plan to dig up dirt on journalist critics; sneaking a SOPA provision into the USA Freedom Act; high-speed free WiFi coming to NYC; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Differences

How to use Twitter to circumvent campaign coordination rules; the net neutrality debate keeps getting hotter; charting the gender balance at dataviz conference using dataviz; and much, much more. GO

More