A Pew Research Internet Project asked why people use social media. Here were the reasons:
67% – Stay in touch with friends
64% – Stay in touch with family
50% – Connect to old friends
14% – Share hobbies
9% – Make new friends
5% – Follow celebrities, athletes, or politicians
3% – Find a date
A very recent author, Ken Mueller, of InklinMedia.net cites these reasons in a very popular article:
- We desire community
- We desire to extend our communities
- To connect and reconnect
- To move beyond isolation
- Real world connections
- Be involved in more causes and activities
- Having our own voice
- Safety, privacy, and control
- To be “insiders”
- A more level playing field
- A chance to succeed
Onepoll.com shared results from Whiting and Williams who interviewed a range of social media users and explored what keeps them coming back to social networks.
- Social Interaction – Social Media, Not Surprisingly, Allows People To Be Social. They Meet New People And Keep In Touch With Friends, Acquaintances And Family.
- Information Seeking – This Refers To The Process Of Finding Information About Products/Services, Keeping Up To Date With Real-World Social Events, And Learning New Things.
- Passing Time – Social Media Is A Great Time Killer And Can Cure Boredom Whether At Home, At School, Or In The Work Place.
- Entertainment – Games, Music And Videos Are All Accessed Through Social Media. Watching The Stream Of Updates From People Is Also A Form Of Entertainment – Whether Intentionally Humorous Or Not.
- Relaxation – Whilst People Find Others Updates Humorous, They Also Find Them Relaxing. Social Media Is A Way To Alleviate Stress And Escape From Reality.
- Expression Of Opinions – Expressing Thoughts And Opinions, Criticizing Others And Blowing Off Steam (Either Anonymously Or Named) Is Regularly Undertaken Through Social Media.
- Things To Talk About – Like The Daily Newspaper, Social Media Provide Subject Matter For People To Talk And Gossip About With Others.
- Convenience – Social Media Is Readily Accessible, Even More So As Mobile Devices Become Ubiquitous. Furthermore, People Can Talk To Several People At The Same Time.
- Sharing Information – People Can Use Social Media To Broadcast Things About Themselves. By Publishing Updates, Videos And Pictures, People Market Their Own Personal Brand Or Business.
- Knowing About Others – Social Media Allows A Window Into The Lives Of Others. By Checking Out Other Profiles, They Can Be Nosey Or ‘Keep Up With The Jones’’.