Pew research shows Facebook users more trusting of others

It’s officially, Facebook has 750 million monthly active users.  With the number increasing 150 million in only 6 months, it’s easy to assume everyone in your immediate and extended circle of friends has a Facebook page, right? 

Recent research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project titled Social Networking Sites and Our Lives, studied the impacts of social networking sites (SNS) like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and LinkedIn.  I encourage you to read the study in its entirety but here are some of the most interesting statistics, 

The number of those using social networking sites has nearly doubled since 2008 and the population of SNS users has gotten older.“ via Pew

Among the study participants, 92% reported they had a Facebook profile and on an average day, 22% commented on a post or status. 

The one finding I found slightly ironic was Facebook users are overall more trusting than non-internet others.  Pew reported, 43% of survey participants were more likely than other internet users to feel that most people can be trusted. Why is this amusing? Mostly, because Facebook has battled their share of privacy and security issues, yet their community is creating a sense of safety amongst peers just by being on the network.  If only Facebook could harness the power of the community for their own good. 

The survey also suggests active Facebook users are more supportive of their peers by offering advice and emotional support to others.  This goes without saying, the more actively you’re publishing status updates, the more involved your friends or family are in your everyday habits.  And c’mon, we all have at least one Facebook friend that over shares their activities to fish for compliments or generate attention.  We just wish we could un-friend them, but we secretly like to follow along. 

The Pew survey also measured users exposure to different points of view on the various social networks. It has been assumed we create a bubble on our social networks which may prevent us from discovering new or challenging resources and conversations occurring outside our online circle of friends. Pew debunked that assumption by reporting that Myspace users (yes, you read that correctly) “have significantly higher levels of perspective taking.” via Pew

Whatever your purpose for using social networks, we now know that you’re a more supportive, trusting and enlightened person for it. 

Download a PDF of study, Social Networking Sites and Our Lives, here