Why do People Use Social Media?

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:

  1. We desire community
  2. We desire to extend our communities
  3. To connect and reconnect
  4. To move beyond isolation
  5. Real world connections
  6. Be involved in more causes and activities
  7. Having our own voice
  8. Safety, privacy, and control
  9. To be “insiders”
  10. A more level playing field
  11. 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’’.