Why do we use social media?

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A study by the Pew Research Center shows that one third of the American online adults mainly use social media platforms to connect with family members and friends. Another significant reason is to stay in touch with current and long lost friends. Women (72%) in particular are more likely to keep in touch with family members than men (55%). When it comes to reconnecting with old friends, mainly social media users younger than 50, point this reason out as most important for being active on a social media platform.

Motivations for using social network sites PEW research centerNew friends

Making entirely new friends is not the main goal of online Americans. Only 9%, of which men and African Americans are the core group, want to make friends on a social network website. Another value which is less important than connecting with friends is a shared hobby or interest. About one in five connects with other people who share a common hobby or interest.


Another reason for Americans who use social media platforms is following or trying to connect with public figures such as politicians, celebrities or athletes. Nevertheless, three out of four say that this plays no role whatsoever, although African Americans and Latinos slightly show some more interest. When taking a look at Twitter users, they seem more interested in a public figure than any other social media user. 10% of the respondents who are on Twitter say that this is a major reason to use this online network.


Finding the love of your life seems a bit unrealistic for most social media users. Although women keep their hopes up as they are twice as likely as men to think that finding a date is a major reason for using a social platform.